NOT AN INTERIM CHURCH
An interim is a period of time that takes place between two events. An interim is, by definition, temporary. In that sense, we are going through an interim as we await the calling of a new senior pastor. As essential as a pastor is to the proper biblical functioning of a New Testament church, we still have a mission to fulfill as First Baptist Church, and God has already given us what we need to respond obediently. In other words, we may be looking for a pastor, but we are not an interim church.
During an interim, the temptation for many churches is to lower their expectations and energy. As a result, the activity level and giving of the members often wane. In addition to the normal challenges of an interim, we are nearing the arrival of summer, which usually brings a drop in regular attendance and giving. I don’t think anyone consciously decides to neglect their commitment to the church. We travel more. We get busy with summer activities. We just seem to have more going on in our lives.
That said, not only is First Baptist Church your church, you are First Baptist Church. We cannot be the church God has called us to be without you. As Todd mentioned in his sermon last Sunday, we cannot settle for being spectators. We must strive to be actively involved in the life of our church, each doing our part. With all of this in mind, I’d like to challenge you to consider three important ways you can meaningfully support First Baptist Church, especially over the coming months.
First, pray for your church. We have numerous needs and prayer requests within our fellowship. You can stay up to date with these requests and share your own via our weekly prayer guide (fbctlh.org/i-need-prayer). In addition, you can pray daily for our Pastor Search Committee, our future pastor and his family, and every aspect of this process of discernment. Pray for the ministries of our church and all of those who serve and are served. And please pray for our church as a whole. Pray that we would be a God-centered, Bible-directed, people-focused, caring body of baptized believers in Jesus Christ, led by the Holy Spirit in worshiping, serving, and sharing Christ, and in equipping believers to carry out the Great Commission in the community and throughout the world.
Second, gather with your church. When we come together for corporate worship, we are a congregation, not an audience, because we know that there is only One to whom we are offering our worship. We may experience worship, and we should participate in worship, but the worship service is meant to be from us, not for us. Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit draws us closer together as a body of believers when we gather for worship, which is why we need you here. Summer is also a great opportunity to get to know other folks within our church better through Sunday Morning Bible Study and other ministries.
Third, give to your church. We have so many exciting things we hope to accomplish in and through our church this summer and fall. But these efforts require money and resources. That’s why your decision to be intentional about giving regularly is so critical to the ongoing ministries of our church. So I want to invite you to continue giving this summer. Consider using online giving (fbctlh.org/give), especially when you’re traveling. We work diligently to be good stewards of everything we receive because we know this all ultimately belongs to our Lord and should be used to bring Him glory.
Thank you for your involvement and investment in First Baptist Church. As you make plans for your summer, I hope that you will continue to make your church a priority through your active prayer, presence, and giving.