April 15, 2016
Earlier this week the Dowanvale Free Church website shared 10 practical ways that regular members and adherents on Sundays can help put others first in the congregation. They are:
1. Arrive early
Church doesn’t start when the first Psalm begins – it starts as God’s people gather together! There’s lots of good reasons to arrive early – not least of all more time to fellowship together. Arriving early is also an act of service to others as we welcome new people, and offer to help with anything that might need to happen before the service starts.
2. Say ‘hi’ to someone you’ve never met before
We all know what it’s like to go to an event where we don’t know anyone else. It’s awkward and uncomfortable. New people visit our church each week, and this is how they’re feeling! Even people who have been coming for years may feel more at ease if you take the step to say hello. The simple act of saying hi to a newcomer is a great way to help them feel more comfortable, and is a practical way to love others as we would like to be loved (who enjoys standing awkwardly on their own?!).
3. Sit close to the front
When new people come to church, they’re nervous enough already, without being required to walk to the front of church to find a seat! When regulars sit close to the front, it makes it less awkward for newcomers to slip in the back unnoticed.
4. See rubbish lying around? Put it in the bin
Church is more like a home than a hotel – we each need to take responsibility for caring for how it looks, and not expect others to do this for us. When you see rubbish lying around (e.g. papers around the bin in the bathroom), please don’t wait for someone else to pick it up.
5. Thank people who serve you
At church each week, we’re served by others who prepare morning tea, preach, give the kids’ talk, pray, welcome, clean the kitchen, care for the children in crèche – you get the idea! Let’s not take each other for granted, but instead make the most of every opportunity to encourage one another and build each other up.
6. Chat about the sermon after the service
After the service, take the opportunity to chat with others about the sermon. Reflect on how you were challenged, and share how God has encouraged you through His Word. If it’s appropriate, spend a few minutes praying – on your own, or with the people sitting nearby.
7. Return your Bible (if you didn’t bring your own)
Many hands make light work! Don’t forget to take your sermon notes with you – and read the weekly notices before/after or when you get home (not during the sermon!). Simple.
8. Use your flyers/leaflets
If there are flyers or leaflets with the church weekly notices then please use them – or at the very least return them to the church office so they can be reused. These flyers are normally being given out for a purpose so please pray for that ministry and consider getting involved
9. Pray for the preacher beforehand
The shepherd needs the prayers of the sheep as much as they need his prayers. He also is one of Christ’s sheep, and is susceptible to the same weaknesses. Pray before a service that he might have boldness and power to preach the gospel with a servant heart.
10. Pray there and then
If you’re chatting with someone after church and they mention something that would be good to pray for, why not pray then. Don’t say “I’ll be sure to pray for that later”, because you may forget. It might seem weird but we’re Christians at church – it’s really encouraging and worthwhile to pray right then and there.
You can check out the Dowanvale Free Church website by clicking here.
The original list was adapted from Steve Kryger here.