After 35 years of preaching, I have asked about people’s church connection literally thousands of times. I have heard a variety of answers that connects them to one church or another in the region. I sometimes follow-up with a second question, namely, “Who is the pastor of that church?” It is amusing to watch the agony that moves across the face when they search for an answer to which they haven’t got a clue.
A person dropped by our offces one day and told the secretary, “I need to see my preacher.” Though grateful he viewed me as his preacher, I had no idea who he was. We had crossed paths years before, but had not been in touch since. No doubt he viewed the church I pastored as “his church,” but he never attended and was not at all involved.
When you consider yourself part of a church family, please ask yourself the following questions: One, do I attend Bible study
One, do I attend Bible study and worship services with this church family? Am I present when they gather as a corporate body to worship, pray and encourage one another in the faith? Having your name on the roll from years gone by is not nearly as important as whether you were there last Sunday. The recent pandemic has kept some folks away from public worship, which is understandable. But when it was safe to be there, was it a priority and habit in your life?
Two, am I serving somewhere in this church family? During any given week we have somewhere between 80 and 100 volunteers serving in all kinds of ways in the church family. On Wednesdays and Sundays you will find people greeting guests, teaching classes, serving in the AWANA program or children’s ministries, helping with the youth, singing on the Praise Team or working with the Media Team. People are also busy serving on the deacon body or on one of our six oversight committees. You will find them roaming the halls on our Safety Team, serving meals during times of grief on our Bereavement Team, or helping plan church fellowships on our Hospitality Team. Our Crisis Response Team has responded to disasters in other areas and helped build or rebuild structures for families or ministries. We all have gifts to use in ministry, and the needs are continual. Ask yourself, “Where can I serve in this church family?”
Three, am I supporting this church family with my money and prayers? Am I asking God to bless and guide this church? Am I obediently allowing God to use me to support this church with my tithes and offerings? For everything God does in the world, He has a plan. His plan for financing His Church is through His people. We are commanded in Scripture to give freely and joyfully (II Corinthians 9:7).
The older I get, the more I appreciate having a church family. Bless yourself and others by actively connecting with a body of Christ followers.