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It's Sunday Morning

Recently, I read a helpful post online from Christian blogger Tim Challies on the subject of Sunday morning. He lists some recommendations for things to think about and plan to do on Sunday morning before the service, during the service, and after the service. During the service, Challies says we should "sing with gusto, help with logistics (if needed), listen carefully, avoid distractions," and even something as simple as "be aware of your facial expression," because that may influence someone else's worship experience.

His advice before the service includes praying for the meeting, greeting newcomers, arriving early, and planning "strategically about who you should sit with." And after the service? How about connecting the newcomers with others, starting a conversation about the sermon, and staying late to help as needed? It's always helpful to look for the face you don't know, introduce yourself, and start a conversation. We should, I believe, think of church as something we do for God and others, not just something we experience for ourselves. Our experience will be richer if it's purposeful.

I was thinking about these things when word came that Hugh Marxmiller was not doing well after his heart attack and stroke. He will be missed. He was a man who made it a point to be a positive presence at church. No matter how much physical discomfort he had to deal with, he made an effort as he was able to show an enthusiasm for Christ and the word, to smile that big, warm smile of his, and to offer words of encouragement. I always felt encouraged after talking to him. If Hugh could have commanded his legs to let him walk, he would have done much more, but he didn't need to. His presence was uplifting enough.

The best way we can remember Hugh is to encourage his dear wife Patty, and then to take inspiration from his faith in the midst of affliction and live for Jesus Christ no matter what life throws at us. It took Hugh much more effort to make services than it does for most of us. He couldn't always make it, but he made the effort many a Sunday, and he came not to be pitied, but to encourage and inspire. Well done, Hugh, may we learn to minister by our presence as you did.

Yours in Christ

Pastor Wayne Wilson

Originally printed in the Acton Faith Bible Church Pony Express. Vol. IV, No. 1, January 2011.


“Give ear and come to me, hear me, that your soul may live.”

– Isaiah 55:3