When God demonstrated his power, the people of Israel would often erect standing stones. These would serve as conversation starters in which the older generation could recount the stories of the faith to the younger generations. Here at FHBC, Charter Day provides a regular opportunity to revisit God’s faithfulness down through the years. This local church was established August 29, 1954 – nearly 64 years ago. I remember hearing about those early days from many of those original members. As I listened, I was struck with their orientation toward service and their level of commitment.
They all felt passionate about establishing a church in their immediate community. And they went to great lengths to see it become a reality. They all left the established church in the city with its great facilities, well-known pastor and dynamic children’s programs. Instead they met in a farmhouse without any amenities. They shouldered the responsibilities of nursery and children’s ministry. These sixteen original members took on the financial responsibility of purchasing land on Cascade Road. They were all in.
This type of commitment is becoming increasingly rare. There are many compet- ing interests in our culture (i.e. youth sports, leisure activities, and entertainment choices). And consequently the church is often pushed to the margins. It receives the leftovers. People don’t want to be tied down by weekly responsibilities. And there is little room left in the budget for regular and sacrificial giving.
It seems that we have forgotten the beauty and glory of the church. Yes, it is often marred by sin and conflict. But the church is valuable to God—purchased with the blood of his own Son (Acts 20:28). And the church is God’s chosen means of extending his grace to the world. It is not an asterisk. It is the main thing. And it is worth our energies and our sacrifices. Charter Day provides an opportunity to consider where the church ranks in our priorities. Isn’t it time for you to go all in on the church?