So first of all, huge thanks and lots of love to all those who sent birthday wishes my way last week. On the 21st I celebrated my 27th birthday and I honestly had an amazing week. It seems I’m embracing being closer to 30 better than I expected lol. In all of my birthday festivities, I also found time to help out with the Baltimore Annual AME Conference that was hosted at my church. While days were long and lots of help was needed, I can definitely say I enjoyed my time not only ushering (#usherboart) but also just really enjoyed learning the process and tenets of my denomination a little better.
While I’ve been AME for half of my life, I am still a student to my faith and take very seriously the traditions that encompass the AME denomination. As a student, I’ve actively taken time to learn about Richard Allen, and the foundation of my church. To most of my elders’ surprise, I actually own a Doctrine and Discipline, which
is the text that the AME church uses to guide our practices. I mention these things only to challenge you to think about how YOU have pushed your own understanding of what you practice beyond your weekly visit to church or daily scripture readings. Are you truly a student of your faith? So often, especially in this day and age, we hear folks saying (mainly Christians) that they are not “religious” but rather spiritual or that they don’t care about denomination.
This is not a read on anyone (yay for using the slang “read” at 27 lol), but I charge you to think about what it is you TRULY believe and stand for, and why (much like our Muslim and Jewish brothers and sisters). Why do you go to the church you go to? What are the founding principles of this church? Who is responsible for matters of discipleship and fellowship in your church? Even if your church is non-denominational, I still believe in your due diligence to find the answers to these questions if you are really serious about what you believe. In each service I helped with last week, I was surprised at how much I actually knew; our doxology, our process of offering, our process of naming reverends, etc; and for a quick second I was super proud of the work I’ve put into learning the history and processes of the African Methodist Episcopal church. There was also so much I didn’t know, even after seven years growing in the same church.
I’m sure anyone who has ever had a job has at some point has been through an employee evaluation where you are essentially measured in areas of growth and strength. I challenge you to use the same concept for your day-to-day walk in Christ and in your church. What are you 3 areas of strength in your walk and understanding thus far? For example, are you great at reading the Word daily and memorizing scripture? Are you really strong in prayer and meditation? It’s so important to acknowledge what we are doing well, and continue nurturing those areas just as much as we do our areas of growth. Which brings me to the question, what are the 3 areas that you could improve in? Do you know the foundation and history of your religion/spirituality/beliefs/denomination? Do you know the books of the Bible as well as you could?
Your homework for this week is to write these things out and reflect on them, maybe even share them with someone close to you or discuss them as a family and put a plan in place to become a stronger believer.
I’m hopeful this will at least get your brains burning a bit..
O, and I’ll address Don Sterling next week ::side.eye:: Stay tuned.