A blog about the home, children and family and what we deem important in our lives.
Saturday, February 9, 2013
WHY I ATTEND EVERY ASSEMBLY: By Wendell Ingram
Wendell (3) Cara Lynn (14 mo.)
WHY I ATTEND EVERY ASSEMBLY
By Wendell Ingram
I have now been preaching full time for more than fifteen years and a
big part of my job as a preacher is being present at every assembly to present
sermons and Bible class lessons for which I have spent the week preparing.
Attending every assembly of the church could be considered a part of my job and
certainly, if I were to be absent from the assemblies, it would be impossible
for me to do the work the church is paying me to do.
I must admit it is easier
to attend every assembly when you are a full time preacher because your job
requires you to be there. But I do not attend every assembly of the church
simply because it is a part of my job to be here.
My parents became Christians when I was only a year old and they grew
to understand the commitment they were making to Christ and to his church. I
grew up in a family that would not even entertain the thought of being absent when the church met together. They impressed that
commitment upon me and when I was baptized into Christ at age 13, I understood
the commitment I was making to Christ and to his church.
Like all other
Christians, my family faced the struggles of having to choose between work,
family, and school activities and being at the assemblies. I can remember, when
I was a sophomore in high school, having to walk off of the ball field in the 6th
inning of a district playoff baseball game because the game had been scheduled on
Wednesday evening and it was time to be at the assembly.
That was a difficult
thing to do and though I had made a commitment to the team, I realized that the
commitment I had made to Christ was of higher priority. (By the way, the boy
that was sent in to take my place at second base was later baptized into Christ
and is a faithful member of the Lord’s church today).
I grew up watching my dad earn a living for our family and not once
allowing his work schedule to interfere with his being at the assemblies. One
thing he always did when considering a job was to inform his potential employer
of the schedule of assemblies and make it clear that he would not be available
for work at those times. He was always honest and up front and I never once saw
him compromise his convictions, though I did see him turn down some very high
When I got out of school and entered the work force, I was faced with
these challenges of putting Christ first. The first really good job I was
offered was driving a delivery truck for a large milk company. My uncle had
recommended me and the job was mine if I wanted it. The job came with a good
salary and all the benefits that big companies have to offer, but when I went
for the interview, I found that I would be working every other Sunday. I would
have been unable to attend the assemblies on those Sundays so I politely
refused the job. I’ll never forget how angry my uncle got with me. He couldn’t
understand why someone would put “church” before making a living.
At age 19 I moved to Borger, TX, and went to work servicing heavy
equipment for a dirt contractor. I had an agreement with the supervisor before
I took the job that I would not miss the assemblies and he was always
accommodating with my schedule. While living in Borger, I applied for a job
with Phillips Petroleum Company. Three times I was offered a very good paying
job with the company and all three times I had to turn down the offer because
the work schedule conflicted with the schedule of assemblies.
After I got married and had children, the responsibilities of having a
family made it even morechallenging to hold to my convictions and commitment to Christ. While working as a mechanic for a
truck dealership, my supervisor asked me to stay late one Wednesday evening and
work on a truck. I told him I couldn’t stay, but I could come back after the
assembly and work all night if need be. He threatened to fire me, and though I
now had a wife and family, I put my trust in God, held to my convictions and
attended the assembly. I was not fired.
The owner of the dealership honored the
agreement we had made when I hired on, which was that I would not be asked to
miss the assembly of the church. God did not let me down!
Throughout my working life, I have had a number of jobs and working
experiences. I have worked for a number of small companies and worked
for one of the largest companies in the world, Wal-Mart, owned and
operated my own business, both as a partnership and as a sole proprietor. For
the last 24 years we have owned and operated a small farm where we have worked
with livestock, hay and produce. As our children were growing up they were
involved in work, school activities and sporting events. We did not allow work,
or the farm, or school, or sports to keep us from the assembly of the Lord’s
I do not hold these convictions because I am a preacher. I hold these
convictions because I want to obey the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:33, But
seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,... and because I
believe and trust the promise of Jesus as he continues, ...and all these
things will be given to you as well.
I have done my best, as did my parents before me, to put Christ and his
kingdom first in my life. I have made every effort to pass these convictions on
to my children and it is my prayer that they will put Christ and his kingdom
first in their lives and pass these convictions on to their children as well.
have found that holding to these convictions is not easy and at times leads to
persecution. But, I have also found that Jesus keeps his promise to those who
seek first his kingdom. This is why I attend every assembly of the Lord’s
church. -Wendell Ingram