Thursday, March 24, 2011

How to Bless Your Church

Has Pace Community Church been a blessing to you? Has this church family served you well in times of crisis? In times of prosperity? Served your family? Your children? Been there at funerals, baptisms, hospital stays, weddings, and other significant events in your life? Have we offered up prayers in your behalf? Have our services, ministries, and programs ministered to you and your family? Have you made friends at PCC? What about just “doing life together” with you over the years in a consistent, reliable manner during those normal beanie-weenie days; a church family you could always count on through thick and thin? What about the pastor, the staff, your friends, and other volunteers – have they sacrificially served you?

It’s time for you to change your mindset and return the blessing. This is not a one-way relationship, you know.

If you’re interested, here’s a few practical tips:

1. Volunteer to Serve at Your Church. If you’re not sure exactly what ministry to try, just pick one and start serving. As you start serving and get a better understanding of what you really enjoy, you can transition out of one role to another if you want. But until you actually start serving somewhere, you’re not likely to discover other opportunities. I see this all the time. People will volunteer to serve in one ministry, but then another ministry starts to interest them more. So they start serving there and suddenly realize that this is what they are gifted for.

2. Be willing to serve where you are needed, not only the areas that excite you. You might be needed most behind the scenes, rather than in the more visible roles like leadership or discipleship development. But if the goal is to simply serve your church and be a blessing to it and your pastor, the means is to fill the need first by learning to serve the church, not your own ambitions.

3. Embrace the vision of your church. By expressing your trust and helping us to accomplish the same task, it verifies the vision and encourages us to pursue it even more. It brings your pastor joy when people support the vision. The vision and mission actually start getting accomplished. A house divided against itself cannot stand, but when people unite around a vision things get done.

4. Open your home for ministry. Look, all ministry doesn’t have to take place at the church campus or in the church building. It can happen in your home too. Christianity has always been more organic than organizational, and nothing is more organic than your home. Besides, home is where we spend most of our time.

Treat your home as a mini-church. Live out your Christianity in front of your family. Invite friends from church over to your home for food, fellowship, and community. Invite a group of teenagers over for a cookout or bonfire.

Why wait until Sunday before you have face-time with other believers? Everyone eats dinner, so why not invite someone over for dinner? The dinner table can become a place of meaningful conversation, sharing a passage of scripture, or going over the joys and sorrows of life together.

5. Toss out the Cookie Cutter. Don’t expect your church or your pastor to do everything the same way it was done in your last church. Trust God to use your spiritual leader to bring about relevant and effective ministry to the present need... and don’t stereotype him either with the strengths or short-comings of other spiritual leaders you’ve known. Let your pastor be himself.

Still don’t know what to do? How about starting with this partial list of “one another” commands found in the New Testament:

• Be devoted to one another (Rom 12:10)
• Care for one another (1Cor 12:25)
• Serve one another (Gal 5:13)
• Carry one another’s burdens (Gal 6:2)

• Forgive one another (Eph 4:32)
• Submit to one another (Eph 5:21)
• Teach, admonish each other (Col 3:16)
• Encourage one another (1Thess 5:11)
• Minister gifts to one another (1Pe 4:10)

There are more than fifty such “one another” commands like this found in the New Testament. Here’s the point: God expects you to be a blessing to the body of Christ. We serve God best when we are serving others.

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