In A Nutshell | September 9, 2022

All’s ‘Fair’ in Wayne County This Week

I had never been to a county fair before I moved to Wooster nearly 40 years ago. Since that time, I have observed the far-reaching impact of this all-consuming event, from animal auctions to school projects to marching bands to some of the best palate-pleasing delicacies around.

During the coming days, people from Wayne County will spend countless hours at the Fairgrounds while scores of others from across the region will visit the area, bringing in thousands of dollars in revenue.

The Fair is arguably the biggest single event in the county each year. It is a time for fun, food, and fellowship. This marks the 173rd anniversary of this iconic event, which is an indication of its vitality and staying power.

The Fair and the Church have a few things in common, at least in terms of longevity. In fact, Oak Chapel has been around nearly a half-century longer than the Fair, but the similarities seem to end there.

At one time, the church was met with similar anticipation as well as loyalty and dedication, but that’s not the case any longer. Our enthusiasm is waning as our numbers continue to decline and our support diminishes. The Fair remains a strong and viable entity, but the church is growing weaker and less influential. 

We don’t have to worry about the future of the Fair, but what about the future of our beloved Church? Will Oak Chapel still be here in 10 or 20 years, and if so, will it be a productive and thriving entity or will it be a fading shadow if itself?

We hold the key to the future of the church, and it is never too late strengthen our foundation, but before we attempt to fortify the church, we must first lift up each other as instructed in I Thessalonians 5:11 which advises us to “encourage one another and build one another up.” 

We can certainly check that box here at Oak Chapel. The good people of this church have always done that and continue to do so, but we must also move beyond our walls and continue to sow seeds. 

Furthermore, I Corinthians 14:3 states that “one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation.” In other words, when we share our faith along with the Word of God, we inform and inspire others in the hopes that they will consider a relationship with the Lord and build up the church in the process. I think we would all agree that that’s a proposition that is more than “fair.”

Until We Meet Again, Be Blessed! – Pastor John

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