Work and Rest

How in the World to Love Your Church

Jan Stewart

Do you ever feel like a cog in a big machine or lost in the numbers of people when you attend church? If so, you’re not alone.

God has created us to live in relationship, and He has called us to love and serve His church (John 15:12).  

So if you answered yes to that first question, then how in the world do you live out this calling?

Love the Church Through Your Commitment

Loving your church is more than a feeling; it takes commitment (1 Corinthians 13:1-7).

Paul showed us a great example of this: he loved one of the most muddled churches in the New Testament, yet loved them deeply. He was committed to helping them love one another, too (1 Corinthians 1).

Love the Church by Using Your Spiritual Gifts

Paul explains that each believer has been given a gift from God to use with other believers.

So in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach (Romans 12:5-7).

Understanding what your spiritual gifts are can lead to greater joy in loving the church. Exercising them is a way to express this love through service (1 Peter 4:10,11).

Though these biblical lists are not exhaustive, most spiritual gifts are found in the following passages: Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4:11.

Examples of Some Gifts and Ways to Use Them

  • Teaching is a gift that can be used with small groups, helping organize a Sunday school class or serving in children’s ministry.
  • Service can be used to help with media and technology, delivering meals or greeting people.
  • Leadership gifts can be used in leading weekly prayer meetings, discipling one-on-one or as a Bible study leader.

As you serve the Lord, increasingly the gifts which God has given will come to the surface. By trying all spheres of ministry, you can find out what gifts you have and what ministries God has called you to in the church.

Love the Church Through Your Encouragement

Encouragement is important; we need it and so do others.

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,
not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:24-25, NIV).

Look for ways to contribute to the church by showing commitment, using your spiritual gifts and being intentional about encouraging others.

Four Practical Ideas on How to Love Your Church

  1. Take some people with you on a mission trip. It will get your focus off of yourself and on those who need to hear about Christ.
  2. Pray for your leaders, pastor and church.
  3. Bring new people to church with you. Invite neighbors and friends.
  4. Hang tough when dry seasons come in church life. One way to show love is by not walking away.

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