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Dear Shiloh Family,

How would you react if you knew someone was coming to your church, and it was the first time they had ever been inside a church building?  Would they be the first one in, have to find their way into a dark, quiet, solemn, auditorium, and feel the inquisitive stares as they searched for a seat?  And could that even be possible in America, especially in the Bible belt?  Obviously, most of us would never allow that to happen.

Hebrews 13:1-3: 13 Let brotherly love continue. 2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. 3 Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. KJV

On the way to VBS last week, a child looked at his mom and inquired, “Mom, what does the inside of a church look like?”  Yes, it was a child from our community. And, so you will know I’m not just singling out that child, I will guarantee that isn’t the only incident of a first-timer.  I recently spoke to a gentleman who admitted he hadn’t seen the inside of a worship house since he was a small child.  He is now a born-again member of your church body.

Consequently, the VBS attendees were greeted in the parking lot by smiling faces welcoming them to Shiloh.  There were age related signs directing them to the proper groups.  Greeters sat behind tables with nametags and information sheets.  Handshakes, hugs, and high-fives made them feel like they were among old friends.

The jubilant entourage entered a Main Auditorium that was electric and inviting.  As usual, Shae and the music team kept them excited, encouraged, and enlightened to the joy of the gospel. The first session ended with a competition of giving like I have never seen.  Young and old got completely hilarious in presenting offerings to the church.  That resulted in a pie in the face, but you take the good with the bad.  And besides we got washed in the dunking tank later in the week.  Boy!  There’s a sermon waiting to be preached.

The students were then escorted to classes where they were taught stories of faith and the love of Jesus. Refreshments, games, and crafts brought even more interest to the totality of the ministry of our church.What a great week!  And to top it off, we are baptizing at least three of the attendees this Sunday.  Barry and I led one precious young man to a saving knowledge of Jesus in my office. Praise the Lord!

I wouldn’t be a very good Pastor if I didn’t ask a couple of questions.  Why do most or all of these things not happen every Sunday morning?  What would happen if we got that excited about Jesus each time the doors opened for worship?  What a great opportunity to share the love of eternal salvation to folks of all ages.  It could be the first and last time they hear the good news. I encourage each ministry to think about how we can put a VBS interest in all ministries of Shiloh…from the parking lot to the pew.  It’s all part of connecting.

I am so proud of all the new faces I saw working in VBS.  My heart swells and my spirit soars with love and gratitude.  From those who set up the scenes, to those who tore it down and cleaned it up, Anita and I are truly appreciative and thankful for all who participated in any way.

Shiloh, this Pastor loves you so much!

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our Dads HAPPY FATHER’S DAY! 

Only a glorified heavenly body will have the ability to show true love and pure gratitude.  
God bless you all, 
Pastor Derrell