There are a number of reasons why we might not actively engage in our local church. Digital Producers Adam Brennan and Tamala Ceasar offers you ways that you can get more involved.
It could be that a) We're not sure where we fit in, b) We don’t think it’s our responsibility or c) We prefer to keep ourselves to ourselves.
Whatever your reason is, we’ve got some great tips and advice to help you and your church to be more active and involved in the community.
Having healthy companionship or fellowship in the church is absolutely essential for being effective in ministry and active in your community. If there is no Biblical fellowship amongst believers (Phil 1:27) then you won’t see any change. So what points can we consider when looking at this on a practical level?
- Start by seeing yourself as part of a local body, not as an individual
- Learn to look and listen to each other more
- Spend more time together, encouraging one another to do good whilst discouraging the bad
- Remember people long to belong so don’t neglect anyone
- Consider starting a discipleship course for your church
- Befriend families and avoid keeping distance
Author, Rev Robin Greenwood mentioned a problem he encountered in one church where they were trying to focus more on younger members. The problem was there was a separation between old and young people after service. Older people need to care and befriend the younger ones and dare to be real and inquisitive with them.
Okay, so we all need the resources to be effective and active as churches. This costs money. It’s just a fact of life. But whether you church is privileged or not, here are some good points to remember:
- God has promised to provide: ‘And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.’ (Phil 4:19)
- Pray for His guidance
- Consider starting a small Christian business such as a café. This will help you be more active in the community and make money at the same time!
- Not every activity is expensive. Could your church make their presence known in the community by leafleting, writing letters or hosting short talks? Perhaps you could link with a local school, street pastors or a food bank?
Things to Avoid
- Depending on the clergy – don’t expect church leaders to do everything for you. It’s your church so you need to own it by stepping up and serving
- Ignoring the world – Avoid getting into a Christian bubble and only gearing your activities towards fellow believers
- Staying in the safe house - The church is not the building; it’s the people (body of believers). And The Lord Jesus has told us to go out into the world and preach the gospel (Mark 16:15). If all of your church activity is limited to four walls then there's something wrong. You need to be out in the world, even if you’re not of it.
So, where do you fit in? The body of Christ is made up many parts and each of us are designed to play a part. For example if you’re following a simple recipe for a Victoria sponge cake, you know that there several ingredients that you’ll need to mix together to get the end product. Each ingredient is unique and offers something different, but equally works really well with all the other ingredients for the main purpose of creating the cake. Similarly, it’s important to recognise your unique ability, passion and interest and use these when serving in your church. It could be that you love teaching children about the stories of the Bible, you’re a pro at organisation and planning, or you have a heart for street evangelism. We want to encourage you to explore ways in which you and your church can be more active collectively.
For more on how to revitalise your local church, listen to Reverend Robin Greenwood talk about his latest book, Sharing God’s Blessing: a guide for renewal in the local church.