Are You a Full Participant?

“Are you being a full participant?” or “We are full participants!” Is something I like to say to my kids to remind them that it is good to be fully engaged with what they are doing, be it helping out around the house, playing baseball or doing their best in school. Our current societal pace pulls our children as well as many of us in many directions at once. Expectations are high that they are involved in several activities at any given time and that we as parents get them there on time and ready to go with smiles on our faces and on theirs. I believe we are all aware of of the distractions and commitments we face every day which inhibits us from always being “full participants” in our activities. Besides just the activities, many of us insist on walking around with these small computers attached to our hands and heads that track our every move while we track others. These realities make it hard to be fully engaged and to fully participate.

I am not a believer of New Year’s resolutions because I believe we should be changing and striving to improve and grow daily, but as I reflect on the past year and look into what lies ahead I become very aware of what it means to be a full participant in life, as well as in church. To be fully engaged. To draw down the distractions and to prioritize the things that matter and will have a lasting impact not only on my life but on the lives of others. To step away from the harried “tour de rodent” and to focus on what is important and what I am called to do.

Inherently humans are made to participate and to be part of a community. It is how God made us, but it seems at some point along the way many of our wires became crossed and we lost the ability or even the desire to step back and to observe what was going on around us. We don’t make an effort to cut out a few distractions and fully participate in what God is calling us to do.

As we enter this new year, the current and future family of Trinity Baptist Church will have several opportunities to fully participate in the body of the church. You will be made aware of many new initiatives as well as the refreshing of some old ones, where you will be asked to participate and to serve fully. As an individual in the body of Christ we are all required and expected to do our part and to fulfill our obligation to the body. This is not a call for a works based Gospel but a reflection of what James wrote in James 2:14-17:

14 My brothers and sisters, what good is it if people say they have faith but do nothing to show it? Claiming to have faith can’t save anyone, can it? 15 Imagine a brother or sister who is naked and never has enough food to eat. 16 What if one of you said, “Go in peace! Stay warm! Have a nice meal!”? What good is it if you don’t actually give them what their body needs? 17 In the same way, faith is dead when it doesn’t result in faithful activity.

As we enter 2015, seek out opportunities to be a full participant here at Trinity Baptist Church. You will find that you will be fulfilled and blessed by this participation and in turn others will be blessed and see the light of Jesus that only you can show.