Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mary's Thoughts on Events...

Why do we schedule all these events?  

I guess I've been around long enough to recognize a trend in attitudes toward meetings and conferences and seminars.  It's much more difficult to motivate women to take part in church events today than it was ten or fifteen years ago.  Our lives are so busy; we fill every minute with activity and so attending any extra meetings just doesn't fit into our schedules.   I've seen attendance go down in women's events in our church and across the country.  Leaders in other churches tell me they've given up--it's just too hard to get women together.  Even well-known speakers and musicians don't attract the crowds they used to.

Well, I certainly understand busy lives and I know that things change and change can be good.  We don't just keep doing what we've been doing just because it's what we've always done.  It's healthy to continually examine what we do and see if it's time to try other avenues.  But even with all that, there is very good and biblical reasons why we need to make time for these extracurricular events.

Hebrews 10:24 and 25:  And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

I guess the early church had some of the same challenges!  Getting together is one of the basic needs in the body of Christ.  That is the way we "stir up one another to love and good works."  We need time together--time when we share and love and talk and fellowship.  I need other women around me who will encourage me; who will role model for me what it means to love like Jesus loves and to challenge me to do the good works that God put me here to do.  (Ephesians 2:10)  We all do.

The Day is drawing near--we're closer to the Day of rapture than we ever have been, and the closer we draw to it, the more we need each other.  We cannot love or encourage or challenge each other if we live in isolation, and although our electronic means of communicating have their place, they cannot take the place of face-to-face, community events that bring us together.  The writer to the Hebrews says we are not to neglect meeting together.

Lately I've been thinking that maybe we just should forget our get-togethers and take the women's ministry to some other level.  But after meditating again on these two verses, I am convinced that would not be the right thing to do.  We are not to neglect meeting together and we need each other.  

I encourage all of us to re-think this trend.  We want to make effective and needed changes in our ministry, that's for sure, and Simone and I are truly committed to helping the women of our church have a world view and become even more involved in the lives of other women, in our city and across the globe.  But that cannot replace our meeting together.  We need each other.  So, we'll continue to provide those opportunities, and pray that all the women of the church will reconsider their priorities and gather with us, because we need you as much as you 
need to be with us.

Mary Whelchel
Director of Women's Ministry