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“A Spoonful of Salty Sugar”

I know some people regularly read this blog who are not members of Bayshore Baptist Church. So, if you’re in that category, would you mind terribly if I just talk to our membership first in this blog? Just skip over the first part and tune back in when I start talking about Reformation Sunday and Martin Luther. Maybe you could go sort your socks, read the back pages of the “Wall Street Journal,” or something . . . .

Dear BBC members,

Where did the idea emerge that you could keep your church alive and well even if you came only once in a while?

Who thought up the strategy that a church was like a theater, where you don’t have to pay anything if you don’t attend the services?

Even though I am only the INTERIM pastor, I feel it my responsibility to remind us all of our commitment to Christ that demands and assumes attendance, financial support, and involvement.

Our Wednesday night suppers have been so much fun! But, I don’t see a BUNCH of our key leaders there—either at the supper or in the meetings that follow supper. I know you are busy, but everyone who does come is busy. We have families come who have four children trailing behind them. We have salespersons show up who eat and have to go make some more calls after they eat. We have people who come on walkers. We have people who drive thirty minutes both ways, eat supper, go to Bible study, and stay for choir! Mercy me!

Please know that I offer these “suggestions” in a spirit of warm agape love. In some cases, I surmise that we have just got out of the habit. It’s so easy to do.

Habits can be changed by conscious effort and re-formed aright. I urge you to think about the crucial importance of a church in a secular society and renew your resolve to help make your church the dynamic lighthouse for God in Tampa that it was designed by God to be. Lost, confused, and dying people need to know that there’s a place where they can go to make a mid-course correction in their spiritual lives, find a hug and a listening ear, and be healed of their diseases. (There! I’m done.)

Meanwhile, back at Reformation Sunday . . . Romans 1.14-17 is my text. The sermon’s name is “Here I Stand!” It’s all about Martin Luther, Halloween, the Apostle Paul, and the Gospel! If I can pull it off, it may help you reorient your priorities.

I really do love a church that is in over its head!