(11 practical tips for how ever regular at church can be part of developing a healthy church. Just by showing up!)
1. Be There – Church is about gathering. One foundational expression of our common faith is gathering together.
2. Be There Early – this is one simple way to encourage others. New people tend to be at Church early; the ones organising things on the day are often busy to welcome new-comers. Plus, being there early shows that Church is a priority and that you are keen to come together as God’s people to worship Him. (A further benefit is that you get your choice of seats).
3. Be Ready to Serve – Nowhere in the Bible is a hospital the picture of a Church. There are many exhortations to serve; God has gifted each one so let’s use our gifts to glorify Him in the local congregation.
4. Serve by being ready to listen & grow – one way to do this is to take notes. A sermon outline is provided. Taking notes also helps in maintaining focus on the sermon rather than thinking about the events of your life. Also, bring your own Bible; while the Church provides Bibles in the pews, it is much better to get familiar with your own Bible.
5. Be a model of how to act in Church: a. Points 1-4 are a good start. b. Maintain godly behaviour. c. Follow Jesus. d. Show love for your Christian brothers (John 13:34-35). e. Model repentance. We all do things wrong from time to time; it’s what we do after we recognise this that’s important. We should take on this saying “I don’t have it altogether BUT I follow the One who has got it altogether.” In a survey of first time attendees to Church who are unconverted, the thing they looked at in the service was not the message from the front or the quality of the music but other people in the service. Were they genuine? Did it look as if the regular members wanted to be there?
6. Be welcome, warm & friendly. If someone new is looking for the toilets, offer to walk with them to show them the way rather than pointing out the location. Encompass new-comers into your conversations over morning tea.
7. Be prepared to listen. 1 Pet. 3:15 says to be prepared to give an answer for the hope we have. Being prepared to answer presupposes a question. Take the time to listen to the other person and what they want answered.
8. Be discerning in your interactions and conversations with others ensuring that the truth of God is maintained. For example, asking someone you’ve met for the first time if they’re a Christian, is going to be too confronting. Ask appropriate questions to engage them in conversation.
9. Be hospitable & generous. This doesn’t necessarily mean inviting others into your home. What about inviting them out for lunch? Coffee? Be willing to pay for them should you take them out to coffee.
10. Be Prayerful. This really should be point number 1, but still, it needs to be said.
11. Seek continual improvement. Having a prayerful attitude should characterise all we do. Being a welcoming and open Church is something that we should always work on. In this we should seek continued improvement. This side of heaven, we will not always get things right but our desire should be to follow our Lord and Saviour and glorify Him in all we do. May God bless us as a body of His people as we seek to honour Him in all we do.