Do you ever muse about what others might remember about you after you are gone? Paul writes to those early Christians in Thessaloniki about their reputation. He writes:
You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it. (I Thess. 1: 6-8)
That’s quite a reputation! These Christians from Thessaloniki had barely had time to listen to Paul preach, but they had embraced Jesus so securely that they had become amazing people of faith. They were imitating the Lord, willing to suffer joyfully so others could know the love of God. Paul calls them a model to all the believers in the surrounding area. Wow! They are so well known, Paul doesn’t even need to call attention to their church. Everyone knows about the church in Thessaloniki!
So I find myself wondering what the reputation of our church is in Elkhart. I know the reputation our church has in the Presbytery. First Presbyterian is known as a strong church with good people and solid leaders who have a heart for mission and compassion for the poor. I wonder, though, what people say of us in Elkhart itself. You will have to tell me what you hear from others outside the church.
More importantly we want to ask what we want to be known for? I want us to be known for our devotion to the Lord and our love for each other. I want to be known as a good place to raise children and youth. I want to be known as a church that makes Elkhart a better place to live. I want to be known as a church that offers a hand up. And I guess I want to known as a fun church. I think it’s a good thing to enjoy God and enjoy our church family.
What do you want our church to be known for?
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