Fall is my FAVORITE time of year. I live for the crunch of fall leaves, the crisp autumn air, and sweaters galore. Where I wilt in the heat of late summer, I spring back to life in the glories of fall.
Everything picks up again this time of year. School has started and if not, is about to. Sports teams are ramping up practices. Dance gyms are starting their new season. Marching Band (my choice in high school) has had camp, and will be showing up and out at football games and tournaments. Back-to-school activities are in full swing. College campuses are bustling. Retail work is picking up for the fall season, leading into Black Friday and Christmas. We have hit the second half of 2023 whether we are ready or not.
But, all the new activities aside, I want to remind you and myself,
Your church needs you in this season, too.
I know each season carries its schedule and can be overwhelming.
Please do not ignore church for the sake of other activities.
Our church starts the new Sunday School year in September. I’m sure, if you still have Sunday School, this is probably true for your church, too. It fits nicely with the start of school and allows children and students to move up to the next class, aligning with their grade in school. Our church also uses September as the start of our D-group (Discipleship group) season. We follow a different curriculum each year from September to May as a church. We can choose to be part of a D-group and meet weekly or simply follow the study plan individually, but the goal is to bring us together as a church body.
No matter the form of small group time your church provides, I urge you to join in.
Sometimes this could be at the expense of outside activities.
As a millennial quilter, the quilting community doesn’t look quite like it did for my grandmothers. They had access to quilt guilds and other ladies in their churches who also quilted. They came together around a big quilt frame or simply quilted a stitch or two between raising their families. Nonetheless, they had access to local quilters.
I am finding that more people quilt nowadays than I originally thought. However, if I want to be part of a quilt guild in my town (that has two quilt guilds), I have to forego church on Wednesday night. Both guilds meet over two separate Wednesday evenings a month.
You may think it’s a small thing to give up one Wednesday evening each month, and maybe I’ll change my mind someday, but I am part of our worship ministry at church. People count on me to be present and ready to sing. Each fall, we ramp up our practices to prepare for the coming Christmas season and any choral special songs we may sing during the latter half of the year. Considering that there are only 15-ish Wednesdays from the start of September to the time we would sing a special production for Christmas, my time for dedicated practice is cut short if I attend even one quilt guild meeting each month.
Practice time aside, we are part of the worship ministry because we are called to it. I take it very seriously to give my time, voice, and worship in my church for the service of our Lord. My offering of worship helps others feel free to worship as they need.
Your offering of time in church, no matter your position, does the exact same thing for others: it allows them to find Jesus and worship Him as they need.
You may sit quietly the whole time, taking in all you hear,
Or you may ask questions loudly for anyone to answer,
Or you may be the bible scholar who can answer those questions confidently,
Or you may invite new friends to join you each week,
Or you may serve in the nursery, molding little minds and allowing parents to study too,
Or you may dedicate time to a committee to help the church run smoothly,
Or you may clean the dang toilets and baseboards,
But do you know what?
Each of those roles is paramount in the function of the Church.
Your church needs you so that Christ can be magnified, in and out of the church building.
Other people notice what you prioritize. It may seem to be more impactful on the world to be at ball practices or games or quilt guilds when church services or worship practices or bible study is also happening. But I ask you, who is impacting whom?
For me, at this stage in my life, I need more than Sunday morning at church. I want my son to see how important church is to us, not because of the building or the activities, but because this building and these activities point us to Jesus. I need my activities to point me to Jesus, so I prioritize it in our schedule. It can be as simple as that.
My friend, even if it seems complicated, I pray that you find ways to honor Christ with your schedule, too. Just like any discipline, the more you do it the more you look forward to it. Who knows? Maybe you’ll gain a friend in the same season of life. Maybe you’ll meet an older friend who can commiserate about all the seasons of life. Either way, your time will honor the Lord when you make serving His Church a priority. I hope to see you there!
Written by Leah Honnen. Leah Honnen is a wife, momma, and infertility warrior living in Jacksonville, IL. She is a homemaker and volunteers at her church, but loves spending time fixing up her pre-1920s home with her husband, John. Leah writes on the lessons she continues to learn in daily life – through infertility, motherhood, music, friendships, and more on Instagram @leahhonnen.