Next week Frederic Gray will arrive and Youth Seminar will officially begin. In last weekís bulletin I wrote about the benefits that our seminar has for those of us that are no longer considered youths. (I will be honest and admit that now that I have a teenager I am not in that category). With those things said, I think that it is not enough for us to realize that this meeting can be beneficial to us. Those benefits cannot come if we donít make the most of the week. Those benefits cannot come if we donít do our part to make certain that the Youth Seminar is successful. Here is a list of a few things we can do help this week be all that it can be.
Be Here. This is not the most important key, but it is essential. There is no way to make this week successful if you are not here. There is no way to make this week successful if you are not actively engaged in the meeting itself. If we are going to help the young people be more spiritually minded, they need to see us being more spiritually minded. They need to see us taking our faith seriously. They need to see us taking these lessons seriously. And they cannot see us doing these things if we are not here. I know that we have all been fighting the flu and I know that people have had to work, be on vacation, etc. But, as I mentioned in a sermon a few weeks ago we need to be better about our attendance. If less than 10 of us are showing up at the meeting each night what does that say about our church?
Make The Preacher Feel at Home. Frederic is coming a long ways to be here next week. (All the way from Tampa, Fl). This means that his family and his church family will not be here. This also means that there is a good chance that outside of myself and Dawn he may not know many people here in the state of Iowa. He needs to be made to feel at home. This is accomplished by showing appreciation towards him for coming all this way. This is accomplished by not permitting one person to do all the hosting. I recall one gospel meeting years ago when the preacher came in his own RV. He and his wife made a cross country trip out of the journey here and desired to stay in their RV for the duration of the meeting. Nobody signed up to feed he and his wife. As he put it on the last night of the meeting, he had his feet under my table every day that week. As he left he didnít have very fond words to say about the church. I canít say I donít blame him. They didnít make him feel at home and he was happy to go back home. Donít let that happen here. There are still several spots open on the meal list. Make the most of them.
Make The Visitors Feel Welcome. In that same church mentioned above they were notorious for ignoring visitors. (I guess in that sense, the visiting preacher should not have taken it personally). I can recall several visitors tell me that they wouldnít be back because they didnít feel welcome. I know that this is not typically a problem for our church here, but let us not get neglectful or lazy. Be sure to talk to our visitors. Be sure to make them feel welcome. And if anyone that you personally invited or even know decides to visit during the meeting follow up with them afterwards. This might be taking them out of ice cream at McDonalds or a cup of coffee or over to your house for a quiet evening at some other dateÖ but follow up. Be sure to ask them if they have any questions about the lesson, service, or other spiritually questions that might have been stirred up within them.
Feed Your Soul. It is not enough to sit in a pew. It is not enough to ďkind of listen to the lesson.Ē You need to feed your soul. Frederic has provided a fine ďmealĒ of us. Partake of it. Let these wonderful words envelop your soul. Let these words change you. That is what Godís word is meant to do. Let it shape you into a better person each night.
If we can do these things, our meeting will be successful. I am not saying that it means that we will baptize about 3,000 souls. If does not mean that we will find the meeting house packed each night. But, we give ourselves the chance to bear fruits and receive the nutrients to bear more fruits and that is all that God really requires of us.
Grinnell church of Christ
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Keys to a Successful Gospel Meeting
Volume 7 Issue 15