Church membership is easy…

 Discipleship is challenging!

The latter is what we are trying to invite and encourage one another to do at First Presbyterian Church, Muskegon.

 Early in my career as a pastor, one Sunday when I had been invited to lead worship at a non-denominational church, a person from the congregation came up to me prior to the service to chat a bit.  She asked me a question that struck me as odd.

“What do you preach against?” she inquired.

I had to pause for a moment before answering, because I had not thought of my preaching as primarily being “against” anything, but rather “for” the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  An answer did come to mind, however, and it still rings true today.

 “I preach against complacency and stagnation in our faith,” I replied.

Both inside and outside the church, evidence of devout practice of the Christian faith seems to be sorely lacking in our country and other Western nations.  While the majority of people in our country identify themselves as Christian, many appear to be so in name only.  This is not a new problem.  In the New Testament Book, Hebrews 5:11-14, one teacher shares his frustrations with Christians who have become “dull in understanding,” and complains that they have failed to move from “milk” to “ the solid food” which is for those who are mature in the faith.

If you are not a Christian, there is something wonderful we have to share with you.  If you are a Christian, are you growing in discipleship?  Are you being invited and challenged to the “solid food?”  That kind of growth does not just happen, especially if one is not actively seeking it.  Engaging with a community of believers who make discipleship their goal is a great way to defend against the temptation to deadly complacency and stagnation.

If you have been bored by empty religion, unfulfilled by trendy spirituality, or turned off by harsh legalism…

If you are at the entryway, but sense there is much more to see and experience inside…

Then consider how God is inviting you to a true journey of faith growth.  Seek out a fellowship of believers for whom discipleship is the goal.  First Presbyterian Church, Muskegon, is one place where this can happen.  We walk together in faith, support one another in trials, forgive one another in failures, heal one another in hurts, and challenge one another in growth.

Easy?  No.     Rewarding?  Enormously!

Pastor Jim