Romans 12:13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Change has recently come to First Baptist Church of Elon. God’s calling of the Mofields to continue their ministry and serving Christ just down the road is the most obvious change. The recent addition of Rev. Laura Primm to FBC of Elon staff marks the beginning of a new ministry and another form of change. The annual rites of passage of a new school year for our youth, teachers, and parents will uncover the realization that yet another form of change is upon us. There are perhaps many other changes taking place within the walls of FBC of Elon and outside of the walls of FBC of Elon affecting all of us. No matter how much we hear it, experience it, like or dislike it, change is an inevitable part of our lives. Yes, it appears that God even allows for transitions to take place in our most hallowed space, the church.
In his recent homily, Rev. Durham has used the sacred hour of worship to edify us and challenge us to embellished this time as an opportunity to go deeper! I was struck by the question that Rev. Durham put to us as a congregation and as individuals “Will I follow or fall away?” I wanted to share with you not another typical “remain steadfast in your trials and God’s grace will be sufficient enough to get us through this” message of encouragement. This is true, but I wanted to share with you from the perspective of an outsider to your family, why FBC of Elon has the glue and makeup to not fade away during this time at the “crossroads.”
Many of you have come to know me and my wife as the fortunate and blessed parents of that bundle of joy named Langston. Before Langston came into our lives, we were introduced and came to know of FBC of Elon through an invitation to attend the Career Net ministry. Cori and I found ourselves in a position that neither one of us could ever have imagined. We were five months into a difficult pregnancy, both without the means of a steady income, about to be first-time parents, and having relocated back to Burlington within a year after a career opportunity did not blossom. Oh by the way, I forgot to add in the cross-country move from North Dakota that took place somewhere in the midst of all of that. We were and still are having our Job experience!
Then we were extended hospitality by a group of people in yourselves who lived out the following words: “God is calling us to be a church that is compassionate, serving, and accepting.” It was not just a one-time occurrence, but it became a recurring act and demonstration of a commitment with visits to the hospital, bodies of joyful people delivering meals and filling the space of our apartment, and invitations to fulfill life long dreams of fellowship outings at ACE Speedway. Most importantly, your outpouring of love for our beloved Langston has given me comfort in knowing that our son has a “home church of good church folk” where he has been embraced. You have been an effective witness for Christ and God’s deliverance on his promises to supply all our needs. Your acts of hospitality have aligned with the scripture at the beginning.
I share with you what my family has experienced from this Body of Christ an opportunity to witness true worshipers worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth through your acts of hospitality. I share this as words of encouragement. As you stand at the crossroads as a congregation during this period of transition do so knowing that you are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. The decisions you will have to make in the upcoming months will indeed have far-reaching consequences. I want you to be encouraged and reminded that it is within you First Baptist Church of Elon to not fade away or grow weary of the challenges of change. It is within you to continue to Follow Christ and epitomize these words: “God is calling us to minister in ways that are honest, loving, respectful, and faithful.” You have given me the courage and hope in my own faith journey that my family can make it through our own crossroads if we can just hold onto God’s unchanging hand. As my family continues to face our own adversity of uncertainty, I can not hide that it is and has been hard to remain faithful and patient in God’s promises. But I take comfort in knowing that if we just Follow and not Fall Away from the God we seek to serve, I am certain that in our desire to remain in Him he will remain in us and we shall bear fruit!