The church is excellent; it’s a place to go to see friends, to worship, to pray, to get realigned with your spiritual walk. It’s a place to go to serve and give back to God and the others attending service each week. Church is a place to raise a family and be around people with the same moral compass.
When I start thinking about how do we impact others for Christ, I naturally start thinking about what kind of program we can begin. Maybe we already have a great program; it just needs to be tweaked or modified to have a more significant impact.
Maybe we need more advertisement, spread the word better so people will get curious and want to see what all the noise is about. If we can get them through our doors, then they can see what a loving, caring group of people we are. Their lives will be changed, and God’s work will be done.
Go and make disciples
That’s the problem, if we can get them through our doors, then they will see…Is that what the Christian life looks like? Is our reach to people suppose to be to bring them to the church and then the church will take it from there?
Matthew 28:18-20 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
What if we stopped trying to get people inside the church and instead, we start living a life that shows God outside of the church.
John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
But how do we show this kind of love? This is a sacrificial kind of love, a love the serves others for no gain. This is a love that takes some time investing in the lives of other people.
Ways to serve your community
What if we go to the local library and volunteer with a smile and we assist the same people week after week being kind and friendly. We can now build a relationship with these people and begin to share with them as God provides opportunities.
You can go down to your local fire department and begin getting to know the firefighters that work there. Encourage them and pray for their safety and wisdom in all situations. Bring care packages, donate to their fund drives and toy drives. They will begin to see you as someone that can and will help. When a need arises in the community, they will look to you to meet it. God can use you in so many ways in this situation.
Maybe your children’s ministry isn’t growing, and you’d like to get more families to attend. Instead of hosting a fall carnival to get people to come to your church, you should go to their school and volunteer. Even better, bring a group from your church and volunteer on a regular basis.
Show the families that you love them now where they are. Begin forming relationships with them and meeting their needs. Don’t you think that’s what Jesus was talking about when he said wash other’s feet?
John 13:12-17 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
Move from serving at church to serving in the community.
I want to encourage you to move beyond the walls of your church and into the community. What ministry opportunities has God placed in the backyard of your church? What people do you have a natural impact on right now because of their location to the church?
Find the opportunities God has given you and then move from serving at church to serving in the community. Consider giving up the Wednesday night Bible study for a prayer and service outing. Get your friends involved with you and see how God can move once you step out of the doors of the church and into the community around you.
I pray God shows you where he wants to use you and I’m so excited about the things he can do now that you are willing to go into all the world.