I have to say that church leaders are often pretty lousy at giving advice to new members, and even old ones, on how to get "plugged-in" at their local church. Usually, the advice is to seek out some area of ministry and start serving there. In my opinion, this generally leads to profound guilt in the listener because: a) They don't know where to start looking and b) they have no idea what they want to do. This problem is especially bad in smaller churches because many ministries are already running quite well, and even if they aren't, the over-worked people in them are amazingly incapable of accepting help. In the end, the pew-sitter may wind up slinking off to another church that will grant them blessed anonymity and better music.
Instead of telling people to simply serve, why don't we encourage them to simply build relationships with those in the church. That's much more fun and gratifying, and it is much more Biblical. Teaching disciples to love one another is how the world will know that we are Christ's, not if we teach them to simply 'work'. If you are new to a church, make an effort to get together with another family for lunch after church. Begin cultivating true friendships that will lead to accountability. The upshot of this is that after making such friendships, one will inevitably be drawn into the ministry network of one's friends. Even if it doesn't, trying to make friends, and even being a friend, is a very needful ministry in itself. Indeed, it may be the must needed one of all. So make friends at church. Invite people over to eat popcorn and watch football or whatever. It'll make a healthier church if you do.
We Must Do the Impossible
4 years ago