It’s really easy—and I speak from personal experience—to get into a selfish, consumer mindset when we think of our local church. We tend to think things like “Wow, that sermon was a real bore.” Or, “Man, the singles ministry is just not meeting my needs.” Or, “The check-in system at the nursery is absolutely lousy.” Now, it may be true that your pastor has lame jokes, that the singles ministry is awkward, and that you’re afraid that your baby might get mixed up with the wrong diaper bag at the end of the service. Be that as it may, it would be helpful if we shift mental gears a bit. Rather than think about what the church is doing (or not doing) for you and your needs, think instead about how you can help your church. Here are seven suggestions.
Seven Ways To Benefit Your Church This Week
- Pray for other people in your church. One of the best ways to help your church is by praying for the people. Make it a practice to pray for individuals by name. If you own a church directory with a list of people’s names, you have an automatic prayer list.
- Confess to others (James 5:16). It may seem awkward and a bit odd, but the Bible tells us to “confess your sins to one another and pray for one another.” This isn’t about confessing your sins to a priest. This is about being transparent with other believers, and asking for their prayers.
- Meet with other believers. The church isn’t a place. It’s a people. Spend time with people in your local church. Have them over for meals. Meet together for unofficial prayer meetings, Bible studies, recreation, etc.
- Encourage your pastor. If you know anything about being a pastor, you’re probably aware that it can be pretty lonely. And discouraging. Pastors could use encouragement, like real encouragement. “Hey, great sermon today, pastor!” is okay, but you can be even more thoughtful. “Pastor, I appreciate how you carefully explained that text today. I know it’s going to make a difference in the way I teach my children.” Perhaps you can encourage your pastor or elder with acts of kindness and generosity.
- Help someone in a tangible way. Scripture is replete with references to believers helping other believers (e.g., John 13:35; Galatians 6:2). Find ways to help someone believer this week.
- Give generously. Joyful giving is a New Testament mandate when it comes to church contributions. Be a giver in your church, not just a taker.
- Volunteer for a ministry. Chances are, if you go to a leader in your church and say, “What can I do to help,” he’s not going to say, “Sorry. All positions are filled here! Nothing needs to be done!” If your church doesn’t need the help of volunteers, it is either a) unusually blessed with abundance of help, or 2) something is wrong.