Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Know Your Directory

I remember when I was a kid, there use to be a song on Sesame Street entitled, "Who are the People in your Neighborhood?" If you know the song, you are probably singing the tune in your head right now. If you were to answer the question of that song in the twenty-first century culture, I am guessing your answer would probably be, "I don't know," or "I'm not sure," or, "I know a couple of people but not many."

We used to live in a world where we had time for our neighbors. We used to spend moments talking and sharing and being a part of each other's lives. But today, we don't even know half of the people in our church family! If you are in a larger congregation you might find yourself on a particular Sunday introducing yourself to someone who you think is visiting who in turn will tell you that they have been worshiping in the same church that you attend for the last twenty years!

This week I am with my wife and kids in Greenbrier, Arkansas, and we are staying with my grandparents. I am preaching a gospel meeting at the Greenbrier church of Christ where they attend. My grandparents have been a part of this congregation since 1979. Yesterday at breakfast my grandmother was going through the directory and telling my wife about the church. They have over 250 members in the directory. She knew every face, every name, and could tell a great deal about every person. This conversation and directory review went on for quite a while. My grandmother even knew the spiritual condition of each person she discussed with my wife. I was fascinated.

You may think, well she has been there for 33 years, she ought to know. But do you know everyone in your congregation? The reason my grandmother knows is because she has been doing more than showing up on Sundays. She has taught Bible classes here for 33 years. She is involved in every single work that goes on in the church. She does extra on top of that. Every day her life is about the church. I am not saying this to brag on her. I am simply stating that those who want to do something will find a way to do it, and those who don't want to do something will find an excuse.

As a preacher, I realize I need to know my church family. I need to work harder every day to be involved in the lives of my spiritual family. Do you want a preacher who knows you? Do you want elders who know you? I think you do. If such is the case, then you also need to make your best effort to know everyone else. Take the the first step and memorize your church directory. Find out who these people are. They are your spiritual family. They are going to heaven with you, and they may need your support. If you know who the people in your neighborhood are, your neighborhood will be a happier place in which to live. If you know the people in your spiritual family, then the church will be a happier place as well.

"I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own." ~ John 10:14

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