A Come and Go Affair


As a child growing up in South Texas, my family would always celebrate New Year’s with a few carefully selected fireworks. Then, on the Sunday following the New Year’s celebration, we were always in church to participate in a worship service that usually offered less excitement than did our fireworks. However, little did I know then that church, synagogue or Mosque services were not the end all or culmination of faith. They were one part of what I call a “come and go affair.”

The “come and go affair” can be described like a chef who comes in each day and checks to see what is on the menu. The chef will check the menu and then prepare and serve the meal. Or in the football world, the players will gather around the quarterback to hear the play. Then, they go to the line of scrimmage and carry out the play. 

We come to church to hear what’s on our faith menu, or what that week’s faith play will be. 

It’s a “come and go affair.” We come to God to hear the play, then we go into the world to live it out. 

If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to help your family become more involved in faith, try one of these approaches: 

When you’re at the service or teaching, ask your children to pick one point they hear. Then as a family, share how you can live out that point during the week. If the message they heard is regarding feeding the hungry, then have the children make a food bag that you can give to a person who is hungry. If it is helping others, make a plan to rake a neighbor’s yard. You might try the football analogy–create a family huddle, let one of the children be the quarterback who gives this week’s play, then huddle up at the end of the week to see how the play is working.

Helping our children to understand that faith is not merely going to church, but instead becoming the church in the world, will help to make a difference in how they view faith and life. It will give them a sense of empowerment, that they too can make a difference by living out the plays of faith. 

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02 Jan 2020


By Rev. Thomas Howe, Pastor of St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church

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