The months of August and September are an interesting and time of transition for most people. We generally witness the end of summer vacation with our children and young people returning to regular school schedules. Our weather patterns, over the course of the two months, will run from likely hot, humid weather during the "dog days of August" with cooler temperatures in September more associated with the fall season. Most families will have already taken their vacations and will be settling into more regular schedules and routines.

During this season, we will enjoy the early days of marching band seasons - for those of who have family members involved in marching band. The baseball season is still in full play, and those league rankings are beginning to take shape heading into the league playoffs and ultimately the World Series in October. And high school and college football begin in late August and pick up support and interest into September. How many of us have spent cool September evenings watching our favorite high school football team play?

What does all of this have to do with the church? It means that our families will, as usual, be very busy with school, sports, and such activities. But it also presents an opportunity for the church to be more responsive and more involved in the lives of our children, youth, and families. It's a time in which we can take an interest in the activities of our families outside the "four walls" of the church, to better understand the many activities in which families in 2017 are involved, and to prayerfully search for ways to make our ministry and mission more relevant and more engaged in the lives of our church family and the larger community.

Sometimes, those of us involved in the leadership of the church fail to do what we encourage our members to do - that is to avoid compartmentalizing our Christian walk and to have a line of separation between the Christian and spiritual elements of our lives and the more secular and material areas. But perhaps part of this is due to the fact that those of us in leadership in the church don't show enough interest in the lives outside the church of our people of all ages and that we don't display ourselves how to integrate our faith into all areas of life - beyond the "four walls" and into the highways and bi-ways of life. We seem to only consider as important those things going on inside the walls and programs of the church.

During the next two months, let's take our Christian faith into the community and beyond. Let's show up where other people are; let's ask our children and youth about their school and activities; and let's show our Christian values and concerns are applicable and meaningful to life in general and in the lives of our people specifically.

We are challenged to live our faith daily and to live it beyond the four walls of the church building and the confines of our home. Jesus went into the community - I speculate that if he were around today, he would probably attend the football games and marching band competitions of His people and that of those people who are not a part of His church. Let's get out in the community and beyond and spread the Good News of Jesus Christ in word and in deed!

AuthorKaleb Chowning