The Dented Fender Ministry strives to “Equip people to successfully navigate through life’s tunnels so they can boldly shine.” This can happen through the day to day experiences in our lives. The DF recognizes that God speaks through many different people from all walks of life. Today, we welcome Guest Blogger, Rhonda Stinson, who shares about the importance keeping moving.... in life... in worship... in our relationship with God.
DON'T STOP by Rhonda Stinson
Have you ever noticed that your vehicle is more gas-efficient on the highway than it is in the city? I know I have been feeling the sting of rising gas prices! Starting from a complete stop takes more gas and energy than a car continuing in motion. My Buick is a true gas hog (with a pork rump on the side).
In 2020, many churches found it necessary to offer online services due to COVID-related shutdowns. It was a time of uncertainty. Wearing pj’s "to church" became the new trend. It became easy to multi-task worship with the convenience of earbuds. Housework, exercise, or working on a hobby could be done while “worshiping.”
I don’t know about anyone else, but I got complacent about worship during this time. When the church doors opened again, I was still in a stopped position, and it took a lot of energy to get myself going to church again.
Yet, as soon as I entered the church and saw the people, I realized the importance of gathering together. I felt like a flower opening to the sun. What if I’d made the choice to continue watching online? I would have totally missed out. What a spiritual tragedy!
Each believer is a part of the body of Christ and is entrusted with spiritual gifts. Gathering for worship can help grow and nurture these gifts. Check out these scriptures about spiritual gifts:
“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:4 NIV).
“Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:7 NIV).
“The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12 NIV).
“If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26 NIV).
Each and every one of us is essential to the health of the entire body of Christ, the Church. How can a church body thrive when some of its parts are still chilling on the sofa? Still drinking coffee in pajamas during the sermon?
This is an encouragement for those who’ve stopped attending church services in person. People need you, and whether you think so or not, you need them. God created humans for fellowship. It’s a part of our DNA. It fills a void within our very souls.
The author of the Book of Hebrews knew this and emphasized it in Chap.10, verses 24-25: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
The church is a place for spiritual, mental and physical health. I am praying you will join in the next service so you can get your gas tank filled to overflowing! In person! Not on the sofa!
FOR FURTHER THOUGHT
By Jenny Seylar, Blog Editor
As you return to worship, go back with a new found resolute to be FULLY PRESENT in the worship experience. Take your Bible with you or download a Bible app to your phone. See what it's like to follow along with the scripture. Take a notebook/pen and jot down some key learnings from the sermon. See what you can take from the message and apply it in the next week.
Worship is not entertainment. Worship is the chance to connect with God. The opportunity to learn about God's relationship with us, God's people. This can happen through the music, the sermon, scripture reading, dramas, whatever. If you go in with an open heart and mind, seeking to be fully present in the worship, the Holy Spirit is sure to come among you. When this happens, it is likely you will go deeper in your relationship with God.
Maybe you have you been to church and found it to be uncomfortable and unwelcoming. Don't give up! Not every church presents itself in that way. Try another church, and see how God speaks to you in the spirit of worship.
Attendance is not the goal. Going deeper with God is!
Lord of Love, thank You for giving me the model for worship. Because of You, I am able to gather with other believers, connect with You, and grow in my love and devotion. On those days when I opt to stay home for worship, guide me to be fully present in the service instead of multi-tasking my way through the online worship. Amen.
To learn more about Blog Editor, Jenny Seylar, Click Here
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