Apathy is defined as an absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement.A secondary definition is a lack of interest in or concern for things that others find moving or exciting.It’s also defined as a lack of enthusiasm.
When a church’s membership becomes apathetic, mission and outreach suffer.When a church’s membership becomes apathetic, income lags behind expenditures.When a church’s membership becomes apathetic, worship attendance is sporadic.When a church’s membership becomes apathetic, evangelism becomes nonexistent. When a church’s membership becomes apathetic, leadership positions are difficult to fill.
When a church’s membership becomes apathetic, the membership forgets that the church exists for the purpose of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, and they become focused on their own wants and desires. When a church’s membership becomes apathetic, people stop practicing the spiritual disciplines like prayer and Bible study.When a church’s membership becomes apathetic, relationships are taken for granted, and it becomes fertile ground for negativity.
The Book of Revelation describes apathy as lukewarm-ness [see Revelation 3:15-16].Jesus doesn’t have much need for lukewarm disciples.He rather we be hot or cold.Anything but lukewarm.Apathy doesn’t take over a church overnight.It usually creeps into a church over a long period of time. But make no mistake about it, apathy is a killer of churches.
I have sensed a certain amount of apathy creeping into our congregation.I have seen this in the declining worship attendance.I have seen this in the sporadic attendance in Sunday School.I have witnessed this in the desire to cut back on our outreach.I have noticed this in our giving.I have seen it in the hesitancy of some to serve on our ministry teams.Our church has been around almost 140 years.We have a history in this community that few churches can match. But I believe that our best years are still ahead of us.
But that will only come about if we all, both individually and corporately, take a serious look inside ourselves.As John Wesley would ask, “How is it with your soul?”Have you allowed a little bit of apathy to creep into your spiritual life?Are you finding it difficult to get excited about going to worship, attending Sunday School?Does the thought of doing one more community dinner fill you with dread?Are you bored with the same ol’, same ‘ol?
I think it’s up to each and every one of us to reignite our passion and energy for the work of the church.We have a message to offer our community that is unique.We can offer our community a safe haven in which all people are welcomed, loved, and valued.
So I would suggest that we each think about what it was that first brought us to Centralia First United Methodist Church.What was it about this church and its membership that drew you in, that helped you grow in your faith?Reconnect with those memories, and allow your roots to sink back into that fertile soil.Re-engage the spiritual disciplines of prayer and Bible study.Strengthen your faith by living it out through our community dinner or other outreaches. Recommit yourself to worship and Christian education.Get involved by serving on one of our ministry teams.Don’t let apathy take root in your life.Renew and nurture the passion that first brought you to this community of faith.
There are people who are working very hard within this church to help it thrive.Thriving is not about numbers.It’s about spiritual growth. It’s about learning to love God with all our heart, mind, and strength.It’s about how a congregation cares for one another.When you start to feel apathy creeping into your spiritual life, it’s best to get back to basics.Hopefully, I will see you in church.
Sermon Texts, Themes, and Titles for October
We strive to make worship meaningful, relevant, and challenging each and every Sunday. You are challenged to make worship a regular part of your life. You are invited to take some time to read the Scripture and reflect on the passages before each worship service.
October 7th: The Poison of Pride! The Scripture passages will be Proverbs 11:2 and 1 Peter 5:5 the theme will be the importance of humility. This will be the 5th part in our series Unshakeable Hope.
October 14th: Guest Preacher. The Scripture passage will be Hebrews 4:14-16 and the theme will be God’s understanding of us. #6 in the series.
October 21st Friends in High Places! The Scripture passage will be Romans 8:31-34 and the theme will be Jesus’ intercessory work on our behalf.
October 28th: This Changes Everything! The Scripture passage will be Matthew 28:2-7 and the theme will be the power of our resurrection hope.
November 4th: No Greater Commandment! The Scripture passage will be Psalm 30:5 and the theme will be living out our joy in every circumstance.
Worship is a vital part of a growing and vibrant faith. So make sure you attend on a regular basis. And bring a friend or two with you. It’s a great way to introduce someone to Jesus.
Centralia First United Methodist Church 506 S Washington Ave 98531 360-736-7311