We had our annual parish meeting after church this morning, a time to gather as a community and review the year’s highlights, as well as to chart the path for the coming year. There were delicious soups and sandwiches and desserts all around, with enough for everyone to take home leftovers afterwards. It was an opportunity to appreciate how much our congregation has grown, and to thank those who contributed to the success of our many projects, both internal and external.
It was also an opportunity to talk about things that might be better done differently, both within our congregation and for the greater world outside our walls. There were discussions of potential new activities and the committees that would be needed to develop those activities. There was talk of budgets and budget shortfalls, and how to meet those challenges.
And, in the midst of all these “committee” and “action” discussions, one voice stood out to me with one very simple suggestion. If we want to grow our church — invite one person to come to church. If we have budget shortfalls, don’t wait until the plate offerings and pledges increase and we can afford more outreach — invite one person to come to church. If we want to glorify God — invite one person to come to church.
The more we invite — one-on-one and sincerely — the more our congregation will grow, the more our outreach will increase, and the more our budget will expand as our worshiping base increases. It seems kind of basic, doesn’t it? Just think: if we each invited one other person to come to church with us and hear the word of God, and even one fourth of those take us up on the invitation, our group will grow in love and enthusiasm.
Olivia reading the “Forward Day By Day” magazine to Pluto during today’s annual meeting.
Today our Sunday School kids made nets and fishing poles and talked about Jesus and the disciples, then made fishing poles and nets to illustrate Jesus’ call to make them “fishers of people”. It fit right into the context and meaning of our meeting.
Who will you invite to church today? Who invited you, and why? Let me know in the comments. 🙂