Becoming vital at church begins with walking through the door on a regular basis. People who place a high value on their spiritual lives also place a high value on gathering with God’s family. They are determined to show up. Partners in the gospel don’t just come when they feel like it or when nothing better going on. A partner in the gospel gathers with God’s people:
- When the weather is bad
- When they are tired
- When they don’t feel like going
- When they would like time for themselves
Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “ 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
Gospel partners know that they need to be in fellowship because they need encouragement to stay on track for the Lord during the week. They also know that church is not about them. They need to be a support and encouragement to other people in the fellowship:
- They look for opportunities to pray and share scripture with others
- They actively encourage other people in their struggles
- They know they need to “stir up love and good works” with those who are disengaged or discouraged
- They play a critical role in the training of new gospel partners – especially in children’s and youth ministry.
Paul encouraged his young apprentice Timothy to train others to be carriers of the Word and to share in the suffering of other people. 2 Timothy 2:1-3 says:
“You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, 2 and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.3 Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.”
Going to church is not all about us. A significant part of church involves serving Jesus by serving others. We know how to best serve the other parts of the body effectively by being at church and by building relationships there.
Each Sunday after church, there is a buzz of conversation here at the church I serve at. That is a beautiful thing because the conversations you have after church are an important part of building relationships with other gospel partners.
At the most fundamental level, being a vital part of the church begins by being there, by building relationships and by knowing what’s going on. Those are the basic building blocks of fellowship.