Fishers UMC Blog

A Seat at the Table

One summer, when I was training to become a pastor, I served a little church out in the country.  The nearest “grocery store” was the Dollar General in a town that proudly boasted about its ONE blinking stoplight and the best hot dog-ice cream shop this side of the Mississippi River.

One of my most cherished memories from that summer was spending time on Kay Matthews’ porch eating homemade peach ice cream as we watched cars, farm equipment, and cows pass bye.  Kate Matthews was – and continues to be – a saint.  And my life is better because of hers.

On my first Sunday at the church, Kay asked my wife and I over for Sunday Dinner with her and the rest of her very large family.

“There’s always room for one more seat at our table,” Kay invited. 

Now that was a motto by which to live. 

Jesus, like Saint Kay Matthews, had a way of doing just that: inviting “outsiders” to become “insiders,” inviting “others” to become family members.  Think of all the stories that witness to Jesus’ ministry of invitation.  There were, of course, the twelve disciples, and there were many others too!  There were Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.  People like Zacchaeus, Saul who became Paul, all the little children, the lame, the blind, the broken, and the outcasts.  There was always room for one more seat at Jesus’ table.

That ministry of invitation continued to be passed down among Christians throughout the centuries.  Every so often the Church collectively and Christians personally need to be reminded of this Jesus-Tradition.  We’re here because someone else invited us.  Who will be here next week because you invited them? 

Not long ago, I heard a troubling statistic that demonstrated just how much we United Methodists have forgotten that part of following Jesus is to invite others to follow Him as well.  Apparently, the average United Methodist hasn’t brought someone to church with them in nearly four decades.  That’s longer than I’ve been alive!  But now that I think about…who have I brought to church with me since I’ve been part of the Fishers UMC family?  The answer is convicting: I haven’t brought anyone.  Not one.

But that is not who we are, who we have been, or who God is calling is to be.  We are called to grow as disciples ourselves and to invite others to join in that very same journey.  We are called to become disciples and to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.  We are called to join in the ministry of invitation. 

So I ask again: who will you invite?  Who will be here next week because you invited them

There’s always room for one more seat at our table, because our table is HIS Table.  And Jesus was always inviting.  Thanks be to God. 

Pastor Jared Kendall
Associate Pastor
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Celebrating YOU!

Each week in Children’s Ministry I get to witness awesome volunteers pouring into and sharing the life changing messages of Jesus Christ with kids. I am blessed to walk alongside many people who are making a difference in the lives of children. It takes a team of people each week who are willing to share of themselves, are dedicated to prayer and the study of God’s Word to be effective. So often these folks serve quietly behind the scenes and are faithful in all seasons.  As this team of volunteers serve, they do not do it to pad their resume, to receive recognition or rewards, but to serve humbly in response to a call to make disciples.  I want to take a few moments of your time to celebrate these “Disciple Makers”.

On a typical Sunday you will find Mark teaching a class of 5th and 6th graders on as he has for the past two school years. Shade`, Chris and Curt pouring into the preschoolers. Dave helping lead large group, and playing the doxology on his guitar. Small group leaders Marci, Casey, Tammy, Jason, Scott, Cori, Mandy, Paula, Rebekah, Beth, Kathy, Matt, Laura, Jennifer, Sara and Chris helping the kids apply the lesson in their lives. You will find Kylee, Marni, Grace, Brooke, Madison, Hannah, Kaili, Jen, Jaymie, Emily, and Ashlee assisting Jennifer in the nursery. During the week Betsy volunteers in the Children’s Ministry office to organize and help with small group prep. Angela, Lorie, Nicole and Jordan are working to organize VBS behind the scenes.  I cannot begin to recognize by name the over 100 volunteers who will be serving in many capacities ministering to the anticipated over 250 children in VBS…Thank you all!

Upward Basketball is another place you will find volunteers serving to minister to families.  Katherine and her team of referees; Terry, Jeff, Dave, Eli, Larry, Steve, Jesse, Kathryn, Julie, Chris, Matt, Jane, Emily, Ed, and Rick. Also, a huge shout out to Ralph who handles registration, Milt and Art, who are always willing to share a devotion and the 80+ coaches who build into the players.  Thank you for the many ways you are helping the kids grow! 

As we celebrate these “Disciple Makers,” this blog would not be complete without recognizing the awesomeness that is Jenica. Her passion for the message of Christ, organizational skills and vision inspire me each day. She always asks questions that help to deepen the ministry and loves to invite more “Disciple Makers” to join us on the journey. Our newest team member Jennifer is overseeing a growing nursery ministry and brings a vision of making disciples from the earliest ages. I want to conclude by thanking all of you for the ways you are pouring the message of Christ into the children and helping to build disciples. YOU ARE APPRECIATED, YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE AND YOU ARE CALLED!

Perhaps as you read this you are wondering how you be a part of this awesome team and make a difference in the lives of children?  Email, or . Do you want a conversation? Call us direct at 3175883186.  Feel free to stop us when you see us and say “I am in!” Need to have a conversation about where you fit and how to put your skills to work as a disciple maker? Let us know and we will buy the coffee! There is room for you on this awesome team.

Larry Crane
Director Of Children's Ministries
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