|It can be a real challenge to feel connected to your church in this busy age. Not only is it busy there is also an information overload. Our inbox is loaded with easily dismissed messages and we’re constantly bombarded by entertainment and advertising. Not only that, when we come to church we might be so focused on catching up with friends we haven’t seen all week, that we can overlook slides and bulletin info that is meant to keep us informed. How can we meet these challenges? |
Here are 10 ideas to start…maybe you can let me know if you think of more!
1. Prioritize church attendance every week. Many of the things that take us from the worship gathering are usually good things. But, the cost is often that we feel less connected to and appreciative of our church. Think about it. If I miss one Sunday of church I might actually not see people from church for 12 days (the six days following my last time in church and then the six days following the week I miss). Since we need our church family to stay encouraged, that can be a high price to pay and give our enemy too much of an opportunity to discourage and divide us.
2. Read the newsletter and bulletin each week. I’m as guilty as the next person for breezing over e-mails. Such are the times. But the newsletter is usually a quick read and is a convenient, 5-minute way of getting caught up on the church calendar.
3. Attend any special church meetings – especially if they’re prayer meetings! Not every church “meeting” needs to be a business meeting. At Discovery we are striving to develop the routine of regular church meetings strictly for praises/testimonies, prayer and church updates. These are great opportunities for prayer, bonding, and testimonies about the work of the Lord in our midst. Absence DOES NOT make the heart grow fonder. It makes it grow cold and distant and meeting like this fight against letting your heart grow cold.
4. Come to Sunday School – seriously! We have a great time!
5. Ask to meet with a pastor – both pastors (and sometimes an elder or two) stay for lunch after church almost every week specifically so that we give ourselves tons of time to visit with anyone and everyone that wants to visit.
6. Practice hospitality – Invite another family over for a meal in your home or agree to meet somewhere for a meal. Doesn’t need to be anything fancy. Just get together for the sake of getting to know other people in the church – especially if they’re in a different age group than your own.
7. Join a small group or come to the mid-week Bible study. During the school year Discovery Zone happens each Wednesday. It starts with a fellowship meal followed by classes for each age group. The Summer schedule changes slightly but there’s still something to gather for nearly every week.
8. Get a directory and pray through the names throughout the month
Ask the office for a church directory. A directory is an essential tool in my prayer life. I highly recommend taking a few names at a time and saying a one or two sentence prayer for each. Then, when you see them in church on Sunday (because you’re going to prioritize attendance, right?) you can tell them you prayed for them this week. How cool would that be?!
9. Pray that the Lord would lead you to find a ministry within the church to help with. One of the ways God designed us to be encouraged is by serving. There’s always a way to help and, quite often, when we ask the Lord to show us – he gives us an opportunity to be encouraged through serving.