Do you wish to go to a church where you feel like people truly care about you and your concerns? Perhaps you’re fortunate enough already to be worshipping at such a place.
Or you might ask why should you even bother to reach out to others. We might not feel like we have anything to offer them, or maybe we’re too busy and our time is stretched too thin.
The great answer to these questions is that God already knows each of us —including our hesitations and our schedules— and he can work through us in spite of the hurdles we see in front of us.
But how do we get to that point where we can feel truly connected with a church community? Here are some thoughts to consider:
1. Let go of our tendency to be self-reliant, and let God allow others to help us.
American culture prizes the mindset that each of us can do things on our own terms and that we should strive to live our lives in such a way that we don’t feel like we’re burdening others. But God calls us to be members of a church community.
A church community keeps us accountable or reminds us of what is truly important. Through the church and our combined efforts, we can also reach out more effectively to those in need.
2. Let go of how you think church should be run, and let God run the church.
This might sound obvious, but sometimes we might find ourselves criticizing the music selection or how a church leader might have used a bad analogy. In these circumstances, we should offer grace to our church leaders and thank God that He’s working through them.
We should also allow others to use the talents and abilities that God gave them. As it says in I Corinthians 12:12-13, “The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up the whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some of us our Gentile, some are slaves, and some are free.But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.”
If someone has a knack for accounting, let that person help with ensuring church funds are accurately dispersed. If someone loves playing with children, encourage that person to help with Vacation Bible School.
3. Let go of how others might see you, and let God to help you to be vulnerable.
While sometimes, we wish for others to lean into us and ask how we’re doing, what God often wants is for us to take risks and reach out to the ones sitting in front and behind us.
While we might not know them, God does, and sometimes He can use us to offer an encouraging word or even just a friendly smile.
On a deeper level, allowing friends or a church small group see your struggles enables them to pray for you. It might even encourage them to seek prayer themselves.
Sometimes the greatest healing comes when we’re willing, under God’s guidance, to allow Jesus to tend to and heal our wounds in such a way that it encourages others to be vulnerable too.
In closing, letting go of our perceptions and facades and letting God work in us better enables the church to minister to the surrounding community and share God’s love.