How to Get Involved in Your Local Church

The local church is a gift—a gift of grace, of sanctification, of encouragement, of much more. Since COVID, however, the gathering of the saints in-person has become highly neglected. Many professing Christians prefer to stay home rather than attend church in-person.

And yet, the local church is the primary means God used to grow you more like Jesus. You will not grow—at least, grow consistently—as a Christian if you neglect the local church. So when you do decide to get plugged in, what should you do? At this point, we must understand that we aren’t meant to be only consumers, but active participants in the local church. So how can we get involved?

Attend always. The primary way to be involved in your local church is to actually be there. You can’t be plugged in if you’re not consistently attending. To be sure, you don’t need to go if you’re sick or providentially hindered. But make it a point—a priority—to be there when church is taking place, whether that’s Wednesday, Sunday, or anything in between.

It becomes evident quickly to your pastor(s) and other members that attending church is not a priority when you show up only every once in a while.

Serve sacrificially. More than simply attending, we should want to serve the church. And that means, in many cases, serving in ways that don’t come natural to us. For example, I serve my church by leading a small group once a month—I thoroughly enjoy that. However, before that, I taught Sunday school to the elementary school-aged kids. I felt compelled one Sunday service to volunteer when they asked the congregation, so I did. It wasn’t my cup of tea, but I know it served the church and those kids.

In the same vein, you may be able to serve your local church in ways you love, but God may also want you to serve in ways that don’t come easy for you. That’s serving sacrificially. Of course, you should also serve by making sure the physical needs of others members are met, and practice hospitality.

Give generously. Does the Bible require Christians to tithe? You can make the case that it doesn’t. A tithe is automatically 10%. However, Scripture is very clear than we are to give generously. Second Corinthians 9:7 reads,

Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

It is not the amount that matters when giving, but the state of the heart. Many times, you’ll give more than 10%, because that’s when you’re giving cheerfully. But whenever we give—and I do recommend giving to your church monthly—we must do so generously.

Disciple diligently. Make it your mission to be discipled and to disciple someone else. I struggle with this, but I know it’s one of the best things you can do for spiritual growth. Be mindful in who you disciple and intentional.

Of course, if you’re a new Christian, you ought to focus on being discipled. Once you mature, however, make it your business to find a Christian you can disciple and who’ll be receptive to you. The church doesn’t function as the church if we don’t disciple.

Get involved. Don’t coast by your Christian life without the local church. It’s nearly impossible. You need the local church—and others in the local church need you. But even when you attend, make sure you’re not a mere consumer, but actively serving. Don’t bolt for the door at noon—stay for a moment and fellowship with others. Go out of your way to help others with tasks, such as moving houses.

If you enjoyed this blog post, you might be interested in my new book, Taking No for an Answer: How to Respond When God Says No to Our Prayers.

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