A grandfather was driving down a road. His young granddaughter was riding with him. They drove passed a building which was boarded up. The grass around it was in need of mowing. The granddaughter asked, “Grandpa, what is that building?” Her grandfather replied, “Why that is a church building.”  “What’s a church building?’ The young girl asked. “It is where people used to go to worship God,” Said the grandpa. “You mean people worshiped God in a special building, and not in homes like we do?’, asked the girl. That’s right,” Said the grandpa.

                 Then the grandpa shares with her how it used to be not so long ago. “Back when church buildings were still open, things were much different. 

We held worship and Sunday school in the church building and not in homes. All meetings were held there as well. And we had many fellowship dinners in the fellowship hall, and Bible school too. Not like today where we have to rent a hall for such gatherings. People were married in the church building. Babies were baptized there. And sometimes funerals were held there as well.

                 And the Pastor performed the weddings. Not like today with a District Judge. They also officiated at funerals instead of family members or a Pastor who is part time. Our Pastors did not work another job and ministered when they were not at their job.  Back then Pastors were full time Pastors.

Yes, things were much different back when we had church buildings.”

“So what happened to change things Grandpa?” The young girl asked.  After a brief pause, her grandpa begins to answer her. “Well, there are many reasons and ideas as to why. I can only tell you what I believe.  The ways of the world became more interesting than Christ and His church. Even some in the church went this way. Church people no longer shared their faith with those who did not know Jesus. Older members died and there were no new people coming to church. In some cases, churches became more like clubs than a church. They made newcomers feel unwelcome.

           The church did not try new ways to reach new and younger people. Not that we change the old old story mind you; but new was to tell the old old story. So attendance began to go down. And with it the funds to keep the church going started to drop. Ministries had to be cutout. And slowly things became worse until we had to sell our buildings. And that’s why you see that building we passed sitting as it is today.” The grandfather’s final words to his granddaughter were spoken, “I’ll be here to pick you up after you are finished with your activity.”

                 What will we do? If we attend church regularly, invite someone who isn’t attending; Maybe offer them a ride. And, as John Wesley said, “Offer them Christ.” If you are not attending church, start attending. We look forward to seeing you.  Let us do our part to keep the conversation between the grandfather and his granddaughter from being the topic of the church we claim as ours.

                                                                         See in worship This Sunday!              Pastor John Hodge