Have you been attending your church without ever connecting with others in a significant way? Does your fellowship at church consist of no more than a few small conversations on a Sunday followed by a week of no contact? If so, you are not alone. There are a lot of folks who attend churches without having any kind of meaningful connection with others. They attend the services, possibly chat a little bit with familiar faces, but then live completely detached and disconnected from their church until they return again next Sunday.
If this is true for your life, I offer the wise counsel from a recent piece by Pastor Erik Raymond. He offers nine ways for you (the disconnected) to connect more deeply with your church.
1) Pray to be impressed with God’s design in the church.
2) Go to church on Sundays.
3) Talk to 3 people that you do not know at church.
4) Open up your home to have someone over (hospitality).
5) Find opportunities to serve in ministry.
6) Pray for your pastors, deacons and fellow church family.
7) Talk to people about Jesus and invite them to church.
8) Be content with the ordinary means of grace (preaching, prayer, Lord’s supper, etc.).
9) Restart process.
The way ahead is always service through humility. God knows what he is doing with and through the church. We need to trust him, and, most often, get to work. If you are feeling disconnected or counseling those who are feeling this way, I challenge you to take an honest crack at this list. I think it will do the trick.
Don’t wait for others to do the hard work of connecting with you. I hope and pray they will, but please don’t sit and wait for others to make the first moves. Hear Jesus call you into fellowship with His people and obey Him remembering His commands are designed for your joy. Work to build relationships with those within your church. Invite them into your life and seek to bless theirs.
The Pilgrim’s life is not an easy one and we cannot do it alone. We need each another in much more significant ways than a once-a-week-catchup-conversation can offer.