Emporia, KS

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Audio - Monday - 06/08/15

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Audio - Wednesday - 06/03/15

June 3, 2015

If you follow news reports on church attendance, membership, non-aligned Christians and participation you will get several storylines, but in most cases the number of Americans attending church is on the decline.

One online site suggested the per centage of Americans attending church on a regular basis has dropped below 20%. Gallup polling still indicates that number is closer to 40%, but the trend is certainly not what leaders of American churches, described as Orthodox Christian – Catholic, mainline and evangelical - desire.

One reason for the discrepancy is attributed to what is called the “Halo effect.” People tend to over report socially acceptable behavior like church attendance and voting and under report less desirable activities like drinking.

With that said let me suggest that while church attendance is important there are positive signs for organized religion in many places and that faith is still an answer many may want to seek.

No secret, we attend Emporia’s First Methodist Church. A decision was made shortly before the first of the year to start a capital campaign to make needed repairs including a new roof, windows, upgraded audio visual equipment, programming funds including some outreach efforts. The consultant we hired said after a series of interviews our church could likely raise between seven and eight hundred thousand dollars. The church set a goal of $700,000 with a stretch goal of a million dollars.

After just 90 days of prayerful effort the pledge total for our capital campaign was announced Sunday, it was very close to our million dollar stretch goal! Our church appears to be alive and well.

Now before you conclude that First Methodist is just a bunch of old fogies willing to cough up big bucks explain the 25 to 45 youngsters in our Children’s Sermon most Sundays. Or, our bulging Young Adults Sunday school class.

And, we’re not alone - there are prime examples of healthy churches all across Emporia and beyond.

Being a Christian believer may not be trendy or popular, but it is far from being extinct!

Here’s my “something to think about” for today based on what I believe.

If your life is not exactly what you were hoping for, you need a change, but efforts to find a workable path have failed remember there is always hope in the Lord.

Emporia and most towns have churches and they have one thing in common – they all welcome newcomers. If you walk into any church and tell the first person you see you are new and seeking answers, a better life or a faith home you will be treated well.

In Psalms 37:4 it says “Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

That’s a pretty good offer!

As a good friend of ours said for many years, “Stop by we’d love to meet you!”

That describes all churches as well. They are anxious to help you find a better life. But, the next move is yours.

I’m Steve Sauder.

Audio - Tuesday - 06/02/15