Time for Your Mid-year Check-up

By Pastor Carolyn Jenkins

I taught school when Wayne was in seminary; the degree was called for me—PHT and it stood for “Putting Hubby Through”.  The years were 1969-1971; the place was Louisville, KY.  Interestingly, my assistant Debbie Corder was probably a student at the high school during the same time, but we did not know each other.
As a teacher, I became familiar with grading weekly tests, papers, reports, etc.  Every 6 weeks a report card came out.  And then there were mid-terms followed by finals - I spent a lot of time grading!  So recently I recalled that I do not grade the people I work with now; I grade myself on how I do my job.  That led me to thinking of all of us grading ourselves on our churchmanship.  It has been 6 months since we began a huge transition of senior pastor retiring/interim senior pastor/searching for new senior pastor.  Seems like a good time to test ourselves on how we are doing with this transition.

Below is a list of questions for you to grade yourself; I will not see your grades; God already knows how you are doing; so this is for you.  You can grade pass/fail, or the A-B-C-D-F, or 10-1…your choice.  Here goes:

Prayer   Are you praying daily for the pastoral team and staff?  Are you praying for the Search Team (Joe Riojas, Ben Angle, Laura Redding, Chad Moutray, Mary Jane Pessaud, Ashley McKinnley, Brian Jones)?  Are you praying for whomever God has for our next pastor?  Are you in a summer Willing Prayer Group through the Deacons?
Your grade ____

Connectivity  Are you staying connected to the church through attendance in worship, Bible study and small groups?  If you are zooming, are you working to make connections to the church community online?  Are you speaking to folks who sit near you—whether you know them or not?  Do you engage folks around you?  We are having visitors in worship every week. If a visitor sits by you, will they feel welcome at FBCA?
Your Grade _______

Tithes and Offerings  Are you keeping up with regularly giving to the church?  God instituted the church as the way to reach the world.  Someone said, “Well, I forget because they don’t pass the offering plate at the service”.  Really - is that when you are thinking about giving to God?  A better time is when you are going over your budget; checking your bank balance; looking to see if your paycheck was delivered to your bank account.  Easiest way to keep up:  set up with your bank or the church app to have the tithe go out with your bills.  Then even when you are on vacation, your offering is still given.  I heard of a pastor who had a church member come to visit with this complaint: “Pastor, when I made $10 a week it was easy to tithe $1; when I made $100 a week it was easy to tithe $10; but when I make $10,000 a week, that is just too much money to tithe to the church.”  The pastor replied, “Then let’s ask God to make your salary commiserate with what you are willing to tithe!”  Yikes!  By the way, if you have never tithed 10% of your income, you could try it for one month.  Or you could grow toward it:  if you are giving 2%, work on making it 3%, then more.  You will never regret helping change the world for God though tithes and offerings. 
Your Grade __________

Service  How are you serving God these days?  Do you sing in the choir for worship?  Work a cameral for live streaming?  Teach a class? Volunteer to work during VBS? Have a small group meet in your home?  Are you on a committee work team?   Do you work on a mission’s team?  Do you mentor someone? Do you volunteer to greet folks? Do you share faith in your workplace in deeds or words?  Or do you fill your spot in worship every week to encourage others?  If you don’t’ know where or how to serve, contact a pastor for some ideas. 
Your Grade __________

Alone time to connect with God - to being a disciple - to share God with others  It all begins with personally connecting with God daily then seeking out others to share what you have learned about Him.   Worship will mean more when we gather if you have had private time of worship alone.  Being real with God is relationship building with God; not just a time for you to air complaints and questions, but for you to listen to what God wants to say to you.  Talk to Him, pray with Him.  If you need help knowing how to do this, contact a pastor for resources and suggestions.
Your Grade _________

Making all top marks would be great!  Let's all Focus on a goal of consistent improvement from where we are to where we want to be.  

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do:  Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:13-15




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