On Sunday I was talking with another elder and a member of our church about the distance someone is willing to drive to gather with the church. The question came up because there is a church facility for sale in our community and as our church begins to plan for a long term and permanent location some of us were weighing the possibility.
I thought perhaps it was too far north given our current gathering location so in conversation with the elder we asked for input from the younger member just building a family. His answer was quick, “We used to drive twice as far to get here.” He was right. A year ago his wife and he bought a house closer to our church but before that they were thirty minutes further away and still made the trip.
It struck me that I had been thinking of the convenience of the gathering of the church rather than the commitment our members had to it. This young member had already surrendered his convenience to his commitment and what an example and encouragement that is to me.
When it comes to the life of the church that is really what we are asking, and we should answer. If this worth it? Committing to a body of believers who are running together after Jesus and does that beat out our desire for convenience?
As the church global is refined by a pandemic and there really is no point in being a “nominal Christian” I think this reality will be vital for healthy churches and I hope together, as the people of the Way, we will answer that we have surrendered convenience to commitment. It is where we flourish, serve each other, and become the witness we were called to be.
Onward to commitment.