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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN



Be careful before you answer the above question! Occasionally, one may be heard saying something like, "I'm so tired of the congregation where I worship. I want to find someplace else to go!" It's not that there is anything wrong with the local church from a doctrinal standpoint, or that there is any great disunity, one just becomes bored or weary. Why? How can we resolve this situation?

First, remember that life is usually as good or ill, happy or unhappy, as we make it. The same holds true with one's marriage. One says, "I'm tired of this life," or, "I'm tired of my husband or wife; I want out of my marriage!" Such expressions may indicate that we fail to understand that life, our job, our marriage takes a lot of work, a lot of maintenance. Some think you get a job and just go to work and one day own the company; or, that you get married and the marriage just kind of grows and takes care of itself on its own. Of course, that's why people are bored in life, with work, and at home. Anything worth doing or having is worth maintaining with all diligence. This is no less true in the local congregation.

A person or family places membership with a local church. At first, every-one and everything is new, exciting, and challenging. The various programs of work are different than they have experienced before, they get to meet new people and start developing new friendships, the preacher and his preaching style is different from what we have had in the past. Then, reality sets in after awhile. One begins to learn that people in the congregation are not perfect; and, we may not get along with one or two, or some problem may arise in the church. The programs begin to look old and we get tired of looking at and hearing the same preacher every Sunday. In other words, the honeymoon is over. What do we do?

Some start looking for another congregation to attend. Some just quit. If that's happened in one's marriage, and one simply decided to seek another marriage partner or just quit the marriage, as some do, what a tragic thing that would be! Others recognize the need for loyalty and steadfastness where they are. They roll up their sleeves and work more diligently. They begin working harder to apply the sermons and Bible class lessons to their lives. They become more actively involved in the works of the church. They start spending more time learning more of the Bible and developing their talents to be used in the programs of work in the congregation they now attend. They "stretch" themselves and grow spiritually.

Brethren, we owe the local church our loyalty, our faithful attendance at all services (Sunday and Wednesday), our active involvement and participation in the various works of the congregation, and our full expression of love in our giving. We owe it our gratitude, our words of encouragement, and our efforts to strengthen and "talk up" the church everywhere we may go, a positive attitude toward evangelism, and our wholehearted worship in spirit and in truth. We owe the local church our cooperation, participation, enthusiasm, and support in every way that is Scriptural! And, if we aren't giving it our full and first priority (Mt. 6:24, 33), then we have little right to complain, or start looking for "greener pastures."

The answer does not lie in some unscriptural "gimmick" to keep us happy, contented, and attending! It lies within ourselves! It's a matter of getting our thinking and priorities in line with what God requires of us.

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God... Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord...So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do" (Rm. 12:1,1;1 Cor. 15:58; Luke 17:10).

Steve Waller