Vermilion County has a very special event that happens monthly! Each month, the churches of Christ and Christian churches gather together in one of our church buildings for fellowship, encouragement, and exhortation. Each county meeting is different, as our churches each have their own personality—but standing solid on the “one Lord, one faith, one immersion” of the Bible!
I have been to some great county meetings (and some not so great county meetings—I am not going there in this article). South Side had the privilege of hosting the February meeting. And as is the tradition during the business meeting, the roll was called and many of our churches were represented. The final “official” count was 100. (We also had some Girl Scouts who were not here for the business meeting, making the total 120—and that is NOT a “preacher’s” count)!
I have been attending the Vermilion County Churches of Christ and Christian Churches monthly meetings since before I became the evangelist here at South Side. Now I don’t have perfect attendance (I am not shaving a week off of my vacation to be at a county meeting), but I do try to make as many as I can. I write all of that not to pat myself on the back, but rather to make an observation (this is where I really get in trouble—but that is okay, I am used to trouble): During that whole time (roughly four years), the most preachers that I can recall being at a “regular” county meeting was nine—of course many times that included three, or more, retired preachers! Usually the total number is more like five to eight. The count at the most recent county meeting that we hosted was five, two of whom are not currently preaching in a local ministry—meaning that three active preachers were in attendance. My question is, as the title asks, Where are all the preachers?
Okay, I know the first thing you are going to say is that nowhere in the Bible does it say that we have to attend a county meeting. Well, I must admit, you do have me there! But as we all know, the Bible is “silent” on lots of issues. Sunday School, church buildings, revivals, mid-week prayer meetings, Bible colleges, church camps . . . and the list goes on and on. That doesn’t mean, though, that we cannot support and be a part of these types of functions, unless they violate Scripture! In fact, I would venture to say that most of the preachers of the county attend these functions regularly.
Now I know, preachers are busy—I wonder how I know that? Between preaching, calling, lessons, working on newsletter articles, and a host of other things (not to mention personal or family time) our time is limited. But just thinking from a preacher’s perspective, if I am going to promote any event, wouldn’t it make sense that I, as the evangelist of the church, also show up? I wonder how big the county meetings would be if the preachers not only promoted the meetings, but also attended them? My question again is, as the title asks, Where are all the preachers?
Okay—I vented! I think I actually feel better! Before you call or email me with all kinds of nasty comments, give the whole matter some thought—and remember the words of the Hebrew writer: “not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near“ (Hebrews 10:25).