It's that time of year again. Lots of traffic in the Walmart parking lot. Middle aged parents dropping off their little darlings at the dorm. Music pumping out of the Pike house (frat house across the street from MH) on Wednesday night and Thursday night - honestly, every night . School is back in session. Our town has a love/hate relationship with the students. Sometimes I hear a collective moan in August from some of the "old timers" of Amherst.
But not this old timer. The opportunity for seeing God work among a population that many have given up on is incredibly exciting to me. Many are writing off the millennial generation (born between 1980 and 2000) as the most unchurched generation - which they are. The good news is that those millennials who are engaged in church are more likely to seriously read their Bibles and get involved in important causes because of their faith. There is a fervency among these followers of Jesus that we haven't seen in the American church for a long time. This desire to genuinely follow Jesus is even more highly concentrated among young church goers in New England because those who claim Christ as their Savior and Lord usually mean it. Culture points for church attendance are nonexistent here in our happy valley.
So September is a month of exciting opportunities for church members of all ages (both students and community members). It's a month when we want to have our arms open wide as a church. Here are a few ways that you can do that.
- Pray - Ask God to work in a powerful way during this season of the year. That new people would be called to saving faith in Jesus and that Christians would be hungry to grow as disciples. Pray for your pastor and staff team and other leaders who are working extra hard to welcome so many new people.
- Equip - Come to EQUIP this Saturday (9/8/18) which is for members and those who plan to become members in the coming months. You can find out more and RSVP here.
- Park - If you don't have really young children or some sort of physical disability, park a block away from the church on Sundays in UMASS lot 46 to make room for first time guests.
- Shift - As in shift to the 11:15am service to open up seating in the 9:15am because it's so full AND shift toward the front during the service you attend to free up seats in the back that will be easier for newcomers to access.
- Connect - Talk to at least 2 new people on Sunday mornings and try to connect with them yourself and possibly with someone else who may have more in common with them.
- Give - Continue to give generously or start giving for the first time. The start up of the year brings with it extra costs for printing and outreach events. Here's our online giving platform.
- Serve - Roll up your sleeves and serve on one of the teams in our church. You can reach out to LOIS at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
See you in September!