What kind of situation do you find yourself in at church? Is this your first time here and you are trying to figure out why this group is so weird? Have you been attending, but you aren’t sure about membership? Are you looking for a church to call home? Are you a member that is not sure what to do next? Are you a long-time member serving in too many ways and close to burn out? Are you a member who is serving in a way that excites and energizes you? Well, regardless of your unique situation, there is a place for you.
First time guests: we are so glad you are here. Whether you came because we happened into your path or because someone dragged you here or because you are checking out all the churches in town, we are thankful that God brought you into our path for at least today. We hope to be a blessing to you. We even hope that you will come again and see what God will do with you and us.
For attenders: we are so glad you are here. It takes time to be ready for the daunting commitment of membership. We understand that so we try to not put pressure on you to join. If this is where God has you for a time, then we welcome you. In fact, if this is where God has you, then we want you to feel free to participate in one of several ways. We hope you’ll get involved in some of the classes that go on in order to strengthen your faith; we hope you will share meals with us, get to know us,6 and allow us to get to know you. We welcome your thoughts, participation, and input into church services, group projects, outreach events, camps, and so on. You can even serve on a committee or team when not a member. Always feel free to ask if you have any ideas or curiosity about being further involved.
For new members: we are so glad you are here. You have taken that giant step of courage and made a commitment to this church as this church has made a commitment to you. Now, you really want to plug into a place in which God has uniquely prepared for you to serve. I would recommend taking some time to pray asking God to lead you and to reveal the next step. Talk with a pastor or deacon about what areas you feel are strengths and ask about ways to get involved.
It may take some time to figure out what to do. This is a bit of a trial and practice routine. You may start something and find that this is really not for you. That is okay! There is freedom to step back and to try something different. Perhaps God will work through a difficulty and shape you into the person He’s fashioning by His creative hands. We, as a church, are committed to working together in unity while operating in the grace of God. There has to be grace to make adjustments. Even in times when you step out of a role and no one immediately steps in to fill it. I believe that if it is truly needed, God will provide that person or the solution. God is good!
For the long-time member near burn out: we are so glad you are here. So much of the work that has made this church function has been done thanks to you and people like you who are dedicated to living out your gifts and serving as often as needed and oftentimes more than needed. For you, I recommend a step back. If you are feeling exhausted and ready to quit everything, let me encourage you to take small steps toward re-energizing. Choose one or two areas of service or energy consumption and gracefully step out of them. Like everyone else, your number one responsibility is to please God. It’s more important to please God than the nursery coordinator, a deacon, or even the pastor.
For the energized member: we are so glad you are here. I want to challenge you to continue in serving, but please do not add on too much. I really want to encourage becoming a mentor to someone else. Find someone with interest in a similar area of service, and take them alongside as you serve. We want to develop others as they come into the church. We will learn a lot from each other this way! There will be more to come on mentoring/apprenticeship style relationships next time.
In any case, we are glad you are here, and I hope this article helps encourage good participation no matter where you stand currently.
Justin began serving as the pastor at Faith in February of 2013. He is passionate about people having the opportunity to hear the good news about eternal life through Jesus Christ.