I was an assistant Pastor at a wonderful church (my home church) for around 7 years. I can remember clearly there were different times of the year that brought different challenges. It seemed that the optimal time for growth was the fall (when school started back) and January (when many made resolutions to start going to church or some other type of spiritual resolution). There were general times where we may have had a “lighter” congregation as well. Holiday weekends sometimes affected our attendance, the summers had several services that had less people. I don’t think it was just our church, I think it is something that just happens. But that didn’t stop my Pastor. Pastor would do have special events during some of these times to help build the attendance. For instance, during the “summer slump”, Pastor would have “Summer Family Fellowship Nights”. After Wednesday night service we had a time of games out in the lower parking lot. It was a big hit! I think it was something that people looked forward to. I think it helped through the normally slower times of attendance for the year.
I bring this up to say that we are about to go into a “hard season” of the year, at least that is what others have said. The winter is cold, gets dark much earlier, and rains often. I know what you are thinking, “that is the way winter is all over.” While that is true, it does make it harder here. Almost everyone that attends our church walks. So the cold and wet part of winter is felt a lot more. It will also be dark before the afternoon services (Sunday and Thursday) end. Faith Baptist Church is located on the cusp of a pretty sketchy area, and the darkness increases the possibility of a problem. I remember well the conversation I had with one of the early attenders. She and her adult son came for several months. She did not like coming at nights because of the dangerous walk back home (1 1/2 blocks). These are all problems, but something I learned from my pastor is that there are creative answers to the problems we have in ministry. So as the harder times come, we will respond with solutions to help others! After all, what we are doing is for the glory of the Lord. We cannot just “accept” these sorts of things as just the way things are. The Bible tells us, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” So we will be working ahead, trusting the Lord, looking for creative solutions to help in times where we may see a lack.