Years ago I attended Weight Watchers for a few months in my hometown of Manassas, VA. Every Saturday I would show up at 10:00 a.m. for my weekly weigh-in and then listen to someone talk for twenty to thirty minutes about living a healthy lifestyle. On one occasion, as I was listening to the motivational speaker, I was distracted by a woman (customer) raising her voice to the manger in the back of the room where I was sitting.
The woman was very upset to say the least. She told the manager, "I have been attending Weight Watchers for two months, and I have gained eight pounds! I want my money back!" The manager said something I have never forgotten. She said, "It is not what you do when you are here that causes you to lose weight; it's what you do when you are not here that causes you to lose weight." When she said that, I thought, "Boom!" The customer did not know what to say next. She just left.
I have been a pastor for more than thirteen years. Every now and then someone says to me, "I have been attending church on Sundays, and I don't feel like I am growing in my relationship with God." When I hear that, I paraphrase what I heard from the manager of the Weight Watchers. I say, "It is not what you do when you are at church that matters most, it is what you do when you are not at church." Knowing Jesus Christ and living for Him happens best outside the walls of the church building. It happens in everyday life. It happens in our own Bible study time, our prayer time, in our homes, neighborhoods, offices, soccer fields, etc. How are you doing living out your faith outside the walls of your church building?
As my former pastor, Lon Solomon, says, "Not a sermon, just a thought."
God bless, Charlie Colgan, Community Pastor New City Church Macon, GA