Years ago, I was in Orlando at a church conference. There were 1000s of people there and I was leading a youth group of about 25 kids. It was fun but tiring!
One of the keynote speakers was a pastor in Oklahoma. He shared about one of the first Sundays after his church had elected him pastor. He was sitting in his office between services and noticed a tattooed man outside smoking. He retold how he was at first pleased to see that the church was a place where not everyone looked alike nor had the same habits but rather there was an open feeling for people from all walks of life.
He then noticed how comfortable the man was smoking. “To the point of blowing smoke out of his nose! Like a professional!” he said. His feeling become more one of discomfort when he noticed the man up on the platform during the second service playing the bass!
He later talked with the worship leader and learned more about how much God was working in that man’s life. How he’s working on getting things right in his life and breaking habits, smoking among them. His commitment to the worship team had helped him stay consistent with church attendance, and of course being connected to the community regularly helped him better discern how God was directing his life.
As you work on becoming more like Jesus, a man who is committed and daily lives a life congruent with Scripture in ALL areas, not just with pornography & lust, ongoing connection to the local church body of believers is going to be a huge help.
And the best way to keep yourself connected?
Be a part of serving in a way that keeps your attendance consistent and your mind committed.
And don’t be like those people who “look for a place to serve” for months on end. Or those people who tell the pastor, “If you ever need me, call me”. Don’t do that.
Instead, handle serving at church like you handle your lawn. You see the grass is tall, so you mow. It doesn’t matter how you feel about mowing. Nor does it matter whether God has given you a sign to mow. You just see the need and jump in.
My wife once told the Early Childhood Director at our church to sign us up for one Sunday a month, to serve in whatever classroom she had the most trouble staffing.
That’s what community commitment looks like. You jump in and commit. You don’t whine about it or make excuses. You commit, show up early, and give it your all.
What else are you going to do on a Sunday morning? Or Wednesday night?
Is it something better than being connected to the body of believers known as the local church?
I doubt it.
Thoughts to Pray/Journal:
- How can you better serve your local church?
- What excuses are you making or have you made in the past to doing so?
- Be realistic, but what can you add to your schedule and handle? (push yourself)