Summary: We must find ways to contribute to God’s Kingdom by participating in our local church. This is how we make an impact on this world for Jesus.
In my last post on being Conformed to Christ, I talked about how to find the right church. This post is a follow-up to how to get involved in a church once you have found your place.
When I visit a church, I can imagine what it’s like to be a brand-new person there. You don’t know anyone. You don’t feel you fit in. It can be very hard to find your place and contribute to the body of Christ and God’s Kingdom.
But when you are working toward spiritual formation, you can’t just take in preaching and teaching. You need to find your niche in the church. A disciple of Christ contributes to the local body. But how do you know where you fit in? How do you know how to use your talents and gifts?
That’s what I’m going to talk about in this post. I will discuss why being in church and becoming a member is important. And then we will talk about how to find your place and begin contributing to your local church.
Why Go to Church?
Recently with the Covid pandemic, some people have gotten used to not going to church. I have found it much more comfortable to stay home and watch church on Facebook or YouTube. But that’s not God’s design for the Church.
Long before the pandemic, I wrote a post on reasons to go to church. But as we talk about spiritual formation, there are other reasons for going to church. Jesus has given each of us spiritual gifts, talents to minister to His body, and a purpose for His Kingdom.
The Church isn’t perfect. It’s made up of imperfect people Jesus wants to use to glorify Him and advance His Kingdom. Even though it’s imperfect, this is Jesus’ body ministering to His world. And you are a big part of that mission.
We go to church because it’s the place where we can be trained in our gifts and ministries to change the world for Jesus. Besides that, we need a place where we can be a long and have a purpose. The Church is that the institution and agency.
You cannot practice Christianity alone. You need to interact with people to fulfill your purpose for Jesus. The Church is the best place to do that. After you have found the right church, you must find your place in it.
Another question many Christians have is why they must seek membership in the church when they find one. Most churches have a membership program. Membership allows you to vote on important issues, church offices, pastorates, and be informed on the latest updates of the inner workings of the church.
But even better, church membership makes you feel a part of your local body. Church membership allows you to be connected to everything your church is doing. As a church member, you can become an elder or deacon. It makes you close to everyone around you.
You can ask the pastor of the church, or any elders or deacons, about church membership. They will have all the information you need to discover how to become a church member. This process is usually different in each church.
Be sure to be well-informed about the inner workings of your church. Read the church documents, like the church bylaws and constitution. Many churches also have introductory classes or groups on why they do what they do.
Pew Sitters Anonymous
My parents brought me up to be thoroughly involved in church activities. If the church doors were open, we were there. We became part of just about every ministry and activity. I was never a pew sitter.
Part of being Jesus’ disciple is taking in the preaching and teaching of your church. You grow by taking in these ministries. But you must not stop there. And a later post on discipleship, I will talk about what it means to be a disciple.
Some people think that sitting and listening to the sermons is good enough. After all, they’re in the church. And there involved by listening to the preaching and teaching. As with everything in Christianity, learning is only the beginning. You need to get involved and be active.
Sitting in the pew is not enough for you. There’s so much to do in the church. And there are so many ministries you can be a part of. God didn’t design you to just sit around. He gave you talents and gifts.
So it’s time to get out of the pew and become active in your church. It’s healthy for Jesus’ disciples to give out as much as they take in. Your first step is to find out what ministries are available and begin looking for where you fit in.
Finding Your Ministry
As you are looking around at the ministries active in your church, don’t be afraid to experiment. Use the SHAPE approach to discover where your niche is. I’ve talked about SHAPE before. But it breaks down like this:
Personal style (personality)
Check out a ministry or group. See if you fit in and if you can contribute to what they are doing. See if it’s a place you are passionate about. Can you help them with your abilities? Do you get along with the people in that ministry or group?
If you fit in, that may be a place where you can contribute to the body of Christ and His Kingdom. If you don’t fit in, try another ministry or group. Let people know you are trying to find your niche.
Don’t be worried if you don’t fit in with that ministry. Let them know you are looking for a place to contribute. There are different ministries and groups. Some pour into people. And others are designed to minister to others. Most groups and ministries have both learning and doing.
Advancing God’s Kingdom
Learning from the preaching and teaching of the church is an important part of being Jesus’ disciple. A lot of spiritual formation happens through learning by listening and observing. But that’s not where it stops.
Many people learn by doing. And it’s no different in the body of Christ. To truly advance God’s Kingdom, you must minister to others. Jesus taught His disciples by telling them what to understand and believe.
But then, He released them to do the same things they watched Him do. He gave them power and authority to minister to others. It’s no different with you. Jesus wants to use you and minister through you by the power of His Spirit. You need to find your place of ministry and doing in your church.
Volunteering for Service
Churches are involved in the community. They are reaching out with Jesus’ hands and feet. As you find your place in your faith community, you can volunteer in these ministries. Even if you don’t feel you can fit in, there are many ways to volunteer.
You can help in the background of a ministry or outreach event. Anyone can lend a hand without having special talents and gifts in that ministry. At the very least, you can give money and time to these ministries and events.
You will never know where you fit in if you don’t act on the possibilities each ministry presents. Don’t be afraid to get involved. Don’t be afraid to offer a helping hand. I have never seen a ministry that can’t use more volunteers.
To get involved through volunteering, talk to the ministry leaders of the church. Walk up to the Sunday school administrator and ask how you can help. You may find your niche just because you get involved and volunteer in a ministry.
I have seen God give people a heart for ministry when they’ve gotten involved. But remember your SHAPE. If you are not good with kids, the children’s ministry may not be your niche. If the immaturity of youth annoys you, try a different ministry.
Keep an open mind and remain teachable. If a ministry director tells you that you are not fitting in the ministry, take their word for it. See if you can help somewhere else. You will find your place when you look for it.
If you just come each week and sit in a pew, you will never find your ministry. You must step out of the pew in faith and look around for where you can help advance Jesus’ Kingdom. There’s a place for you.
If you are not already involved in a ministry or a group, step out of your pew this Sunday and try one ministry or group. Get to know some of the people and talk to that ministry or group leader. Tell them you’re looking for a place to contribute. As they observe you, they may have ideas on how you can help, or maybe another ministry you can get involved in. Don’t stop searching until you find your place.
Now that we have found the right church and have a way to participate in it, each of us must find a mentor in the faith to guide us and help us mature in Christ.