Imagine the following conversation between Ying and Yang, members of Wingate United Methodist Church.
Yang: “We have just had a new pastor come into our church. I wonder what kind of changes he will bring to our church? Would the changes help our church to grow?”
Ying: “Well, I heard he is going to implement a few new changes to our worship service to make it more beneficial to our spiritual growth as well. And one of the changes is that he may be starting a ‘Roll Call’ in church.” Ying seems to have heard that or maybe feels it in the air.
Yang: “You mean he is going to have a roll call in our church like we have in school? And he will mark who is there and who is not, who has an excuse, or even mark if someone is tardy?”
Ying: “Sounds like that!”
Yang: “You know if he will be doing that then I think he must be ‘crazy.’”
Ying: “No, he said he is neither crazy nor judgmental, he just simply goes by the book. He also said that it is a way to help us to keep our covenant with God which we made when we joined the church. I believe when we joined the church and accepted our free salvation from the Lord Jesus, we made our covenant to support the church with our presence, prayer, and gifts. He also said ’Roll Call’ is biblical. In Revelation 20:15 the Bible says ‘Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.’, and that we need to practice our ‘Roll Call’ on earth before we get there to make sure we have our name in the ’Book of Life.’”
Yang: “I guess I will start to go to worship the Lord at church, to make sure I know what to do when my name is called Yonder.”
Ying: “It will not hurt a bit if we will start back to worship God together at church. Because God is keeping His covenant ‘promises’ with us, we need to keep our part too. Besides, the pastor said the ‘Roll Call’ is also a way for the church to check how we are doing spiritually, and let us know that the church still cares for us. After all the doctor cannot see your fever inside you, he only sees it in the gauge of the thermometer; we will be able to see the well being of your spiritual life only through the active engagement you have with your church and the relationship you have with your Heavenly Father in you prayer life and Praise and worship in the church with His other children.”
Yang: “You are right. I don’t want to see a love note from the church saying I have not worshiped with them for the last month or six months, or three years. So, please, remind me again and let’s go to Church.”
~ Rev. CherLue Vang
Originally published in the Wingate UMC newsletter for September 2015.
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