Summary: Coming home to God, Missions, Witness your Faith
The Old Landmark
How many times have you gone on a trip to somewhere you haven’t been in a very long time and you searched for landmarks along the way to guide you to your destination? How many times have you looked for old landmarks only to discover that they were no longer there? How many times have you passed a landmark and had it bring back memories as you viewed it and remembered?
I think all of us here today can remember landmarks from our past. Things that always let us know we were getting closer and closer to our destination. We are just about home and glad to be there. For some of us it is an old barn or building. For some it may be a bridge or just a single mammoth stone sat upright into the ground. For some of us it is the old community church with its steeple pointing up to God, drawing pour attention to the heavenly heights, beholding God’s glorious creation.
Landmarks are important to us. They bring back all sorts of memories. Memories about times past that were wonderful to us back then but some memories maybe not so wonderful, regardless landmarks hold meaning for us.
Churches are landmarks for so many of us because they maybe mark the spot where we gave our lives to Christ. They are landmarks because we have memories of VBS, mom and dad, grandma and grandpa, Homecomings, dinner on the grounds, weddings we’ve attended, funerals, parties, Christmas and Easter cantatas, or wonderful revivals where we maybe rededicated our lives to God’s service. Churches hold warm places in our hearts where we keep many treasured memories of times past.
As landmarks disappear from our landscape made from rock, or metal we are often alarmed because we see change coming all around us. Our church landmarks are not immune to these changes. Most of our churches are struggling to survive. Families that once graced our pews have moved on to the church triumphant, to other churches, or on to other things but usually not very far away, still in the area.
The old home church we come to on Homecoming Sunday or revival is slowly fading away. The people are getting older, very few families with children are moving into the community, and those that once filled the pews in the church have moved on, and the fear is that the church will die within a few decades.
Those fears are not unfounded. For a church to survive there has to be outreach to the community. There has to be an effort to reach those that still live in the area around the old landmark, those who were once members, but for some reason left the old landmark. Not only do we as a congregation have the mission to reach out to former members but we have a mission to reach out to the lost and un-churched around our community regardless of race, creed, socioeconomic status, or education. All of God’s children need to hear the good news of Jesus Christ and it is up to us all to reach out and help them come to know the God we love and serve.
The landmarks that are our churches will eventually die if something isn’t done, and done soon to reach out and discover those who are willing to come along side of us and keep the ministries of the churches alive, those who will help us grow the churches ministries and the membership of our churches to keep the church alive, vibrant, and strong as time rolls along serving our communities and the people in them.