[this was a short article I wrote to and for my congregation in my most-recent weekly email to my church. feel free to read, but it may or may not interest you or be helpful to you if you're not part of our little group]
Maybe we’re not special. Maybe every church has the same thing happen. But, for one reason or another, our church gets a lot of guests that walk through our doors on Sunday mornings. Maybe it’s our downtown location. Maybe it’s that we are a Baptist church. But there’s rarely a Sunday where we don’t have a few first-time visitors for our weekly worship gathering.
And in the summer, it’s even more frequent. It’s tourist season!
I’m always amazed, however, that tourists would take time to find a church to worship with on a Sunday morning. Partly, I want to say to them, “It’s okay to miss a Sunday; just go enjoy Yellowstone or Glacier.” Some of those guests are likely showing up for worship out of duty and obligation to church attendance, even while on vacation.
But I also really appreciate and respect the faithfulness of our vacationing guests.
They wouldn’t have to show up. They have a pretty legitimate excuse for missing church. But they faithfully attend. They’re committed to the routine of faithfulness, they refuse to allow anything to interrupt this significant weekly practice, and that faithfulness is to be celebrated.
So, cherished vacationing guests (who will probably never read this): THANK YOU! Thank you for your presence with us. Thank you for your faithfulness. Thank you for reminding us of our need to always make worship and church community a priority. You are appreciated and we have much to learn from your devotion to your faith.