The Others-Focused Return to Church
Churches across the nation are once again reopening their doors with revised safety policies in place. It’s not a return to normal, but many a rejoicing that it is at least a return to in-person worship.
But we should do more than just return.
While the circumstances over the last few months have been and will continue to be unstable, they also provide us with a great opportunity, one of which we should take advantage – the chance to be others-focused in new ways.
Our time away has given us time to reevaluate our church involvement. Sometimes, taking a step back from something helps us gain a clearer perspective of our situation and involvement to properly evaluate our role.
Here are five questions to consider as you head back to church with a refreshed others-focused perspective.
Are you serving others at church or just attending?
Tony Evans describes the average church member’s attitude, “Preach to me, sing to me, usher me, but don’t bother me.” Does that description hit close to home at all? We must remember that Jesus’s disciples were not spectators, they were servants. Do you have a place of service where you can give back to God for all that He has given you and pay it forward to others?
Are you serving where you should be at church?
Sometimes we can become so entrenched in our routine that we never stop to consider if we are serving where God would have us serve. Do you view your place of service as a role to fill or a calling/assignment from God? As you evaluate, go to the Lord in prayer and seek the counsel of others. God will lead you to your assigned place of service if you are willing to follow.
Are you others-focused outside your church?
There are so many hurting these days both inside and outside of the church. While it is important to serve and minister to our fellow church members, we dare not neglect those who are not. Christ’s own example was to minister to the disciples while ministering to others. Ministry should not be “either/or” regarding church members and the unchurched, but “both/and.”
Is there an evangelism component to your ministry?
Every ministry of the church should have an evangelism component where new people are reached with the gospel in a way that is clear and relevant. Jesus called us to be “fishers of people” as we follow Him. That is true in every ministry of the church, from children to senior adults. Even if you’re serving in areas with mature believers, we all need to be reminded of the purity, simplicity, and power of the gospel.
Does your ministry to others stop when the church doors close?
We are called to serve the Lord whenever and wherever He gives us the opportunity. Don’t turn off your opportunity radar once you leave the walls of the church. Jesus did not restrict His ministry to a building. Neither should we.
As you re-engage with your church in person, take time to evaluate your routine. Take it before the Lord and be open to His leading.
Change is hard, but change in response to the leading of God will lead to more fruitfulness, joy, and satisfaction in the long run.
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