Walking in the Right Direction A column by Bill Ellenberger for The Daily Herald

Bill Ellenberger is founding president for the ministry Faithful Path in Tyrone. He was born and raised in Tyrone. Faithful Path is a ministry to support church lay-leaders without pastors to assist in the process of finding their next pastor. Bill, who is ordained, also speaks to final year seminary, Bible College & Bible institute students as to what to expect as a new pastoral
candidate. He is known by his peers as a visionary leader. You can reach him via email at Bill@FaithfulPath.com or visit their website at: www.FaithfulPath.com.

Do you have a gift to share? Another look
Churches contact Faithful Path to meet and discuss their need to find a new pastor. During our time together, we meet for pray and go through a process of a church spiritual inventory. There are numerous questions. One point that continues to surface is about attendees or visitors. It has been a long time since an individual has come to know the Lord. What we mean is a changed life in this individual that others can observe. Certainly, it is an important point to a healthy church. The key issue is church members need to give an invitation to their family members, neighbors, and friends. Ask these special people to join you as your guests at a Christmas Church service.
There may be some of you who are still searching for the meaning or lost meaning of this holiday. Over the past thirty years, it certainly has been easy to lose the significance or importance in the lives and what we mean to each other. Our center of attention by things to do and the media of marketing has us adding things to our “To do List” more than then ever before.
It can take so much of our time we can easily lose love for this Christmas season. You may not believe this but each year increasingly people in this country are getting further and further away from the meaning. Are you? Could you believe that many individuals really do not understand the meaning of this sacred day anymore? Some have never been told. Here is a personal test for you to take. 1. When was the last time you spent time sharing with someone why Christ was born, than when and where he was born? 2. Have you ever shared the “Why” of this day we observe as Christmas to your family, a special friend or your grandchildren? 3. Have you yourself lost your enthusiasm for this gifted event? How well did you do with this quiz?
There is one thing I have learned about people in my life, never assume people understand the subject you may be discussing. If in your conversation there is no response from the other party, they can a.) They may disagree with you, b.) They are not sure what you said, or c.) they are not interested in what you have to say. In this case, it is a good time to ask them a question. This shows you are interested in them. Show them you care.
Your pastor of your church can assure you this is one of the best opportunities to invite someone to your church. Invite guests who have no church experience or rarely attend any church. They are more likely to accept an invitation. Easter Sunday has the highest response followed by a Christmas service comes in with a close second.
You do have a gift to share. The true meaning of Christmas is the purpose of Jesus Christ. This is how we will spend eternity. God’s desire is for us to spend it with him. He loves us. He had his son come to earth, die for us so we can live with him. The Lord assured this through Jesus’ resurrection. Sharing this message with others is the greatest gift we can offer. Ask your pastor about this, if you do not know how to share this message.
If you are reading this and you are not sure of your relation with the Lord, ask a pastor. Pastors and your believing friends and family will help you. I am praying for you. If you have not received a personal invitation to attend a Christmas service, check the newspaper for times and locations of local churches. Go and hear a wonderful story that will change your life. Hope
“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14 Hope is trusting God to act in his good timing.
Stay focused on the King,
Bill

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