What’s a congregation for?

by Fletcher Lowe

I am at the stage in my life when I am attending more funerals than weddings!! As I hear the eulogies of the deceased from friends and family, I have been impressed with their accomplishments in their civic and business lives as well as in their family relationships.  As I have listened, among the several thoughts going through my mind has been what role did the person’s faith community play in supporting, affirming, equipping him/her in that impressive journey.

It is a reminder to me that we in the church need to reinvent ourselves: less directed toward building up a congregation’s programs and more toward “equipping the saints for their ministries.” (Ephesians 4:12).  How special it would be—as I have heard once in a recent funeral—to learn how the person found in her faith community a watering hole, a place where she was affirmed and supported in her significant gifts as a doctor.  After all, what is a congregation for but to empower its members in their daily lives of family and community and work?