Where you worship is probably similar to Tuscaloosa’s Central Church of Christ, where we attend and where I preach. We are a good group of people. We are active in our faith and are decent folk. But like you, we can be better. I put some thought to this idea of congregational self-improvement and I have a few suggestions on how we can all Help Our Individual Church Family Grow.
Helping the local church grow
First we help by Living Pure Lives. The local congregation needs to have the respect of the community it is in. That level of respect lies squarely upon the shoulders of each member. “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, (Titus 2:11-12).”
Next we help by Being Friendly. Each visitor needs to feel welcome. They should see we appreciate them and love them. Such a realization will make them want to return. Do not stand back and let someone else greet visitors — you be one of the first. The Hebrew writer says, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. (Heb 13:2).”
We can also help by Giving Our Full Support to the Leaders. Effective leaders are a great blessing to any congregation of God’s family. None can progress without faithful and efficient leaders, and as members we can make or break our leadership. Again from the Hebrew writer we learn, “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. (Heb 13:17).”
Another way we can help our church family grow is by Promoting Unity. Peter gives us a formula for unity in 1 Pet 3:8-12, “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For ‘Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.’ “ The unity formula is:
- Unity of Mind.
- Sympathy for each other.
- Brotherly Love.
- Having a Tender Heart.
- Having an Humble Mind.
- Not Being Vindictive.
- Bless each other.
A fifth way to help your congregation is by Working Hard at Being a Soul-Saver. This is as simple as letting your non-Christian friends and family know why you are a Christian and how you came to Christ. Remember the wise preacher tells us, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever captures souls is wise. (Prov 11:30).”
To be a Soul-Saver, Living in Unity, Supporting the Leaders, Friendly, while Living Pure Lives, takes Living a Life of Full Surrender. Jesus said it best, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26-27).”
Keep Growing for the Lord.