Meet the Flock: Trends

We’ve been doing interviews and articles on different members of our church family for nine months. Most of these are on the website if anyone wants to go back and review them (go to the members page and click on “member-only articles” on the right hand side of the page).

As I’ve reflected on the answers that have been given by different members, the trends that have popped up have been interesting. There is some commonality in most people’s answers for why they were baptized. There are some similarities in the way people have built their lives in serving Jesus.

One trend that has been overly apparent in these interviews is the answer to the question, “What is your favorite thing about East Shelby?” Across the board, almost without exception, everyone has answered the same. Some call it friendliness. Some call it a “family-like atmosphere.” Some call it sincerity and genuine care. Essentially, all are saying the same thing—we love our church family and we show it!

Let me commend you for your common love. You’ve proven exemplary in your display of love. This is ­exactly what Jesus says we should do when He says, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13.35). When people visit us at East Shelby, there should be no doubt.

It is possible though, that we do not yet do enough. While we are extraordinarily loving to one another, have we loved all of the people we should love? For instance, have we loved all of our fellow family ­members? Are there people in our congregation that we have left on the outskirts, unloved and unknown? Have you looked around and seen others you do not know or to whom you have not talked? I would ­imagine, in a group the size of this family, there are many you don’t know as well as you could. There should be no one in God’s family who does not feel the compassion of God’s people.

There are also many new members and several who are still considering placing membership. How have we done at providing these new ­comers with the ­affection they are due? They might be new ­Christians, needing to be coddled like babes in Christ. They might be new to the area, needing to grow and ­replace the relationships they left in other places. They might be Christians who have sought ­restoration, pleading for accountability and affection. They might just be new to us. They should feel like they’ve always been a part of us.

When people “meet the flock,” they should see the affection of Jesus and compassion of the Father. They should see the work of the Spirit in our lives and in the way we love. We do well, but we should be doing our best. Let’s love all of the people God puts in our path!