How To Feel At Home In The Local Church

            Frequently Christians get frustrated with the local church which they are a member.  They look to the Bible and see the love, compassion, and concern God intended for His people to have, and find that this is lacking where they worship.  The problems are rather easy to identify in most cases, but often the solutions are not readily seen.  As this topic is studied it is hoped that each Christian can benefit by seeing God’s intentions and admonitions.

            God intended for Christians to work together and encourage others in the faith.  “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.” (Hebrews 10:24)  As members of the body, the church, all are to see the value of each member, and love and care for all.  The difficulty in some local churches is that some have a wrong concept of what the Lord expects in the church.

            In the local church each member has responsibility to edify others.  A great many people want others to encourage them, speak to them, and give them support, without doing the same for others.  When this occurs many people are unhappy, and feel like they are mistreated. The solution is seen in the scriptures, “That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care for one another.  And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it.”  (1 Corinthians 12:25-26)

            The only way God’s plan can be effective is for each member to strive to do what they can.  The preacher or a handful of members cannot do all that needs to be done.  Each member needs to get to work doing, instead of complaining.  The apostle Peter writes, “Use hospitality one to another without grumbling.” (1 Peter 4:9)  If the congregation where you are a member lacks hospitality, show them how to be hospitable with love and a humble spirit.

            To help a group of people be friendly, hospitable, and to be encouraging to one another, a few helpful hints might be appropriate.

            1.  Be regular in attendance at all the assemblies and activities.  This will allow others to get to know you. 

            2.  Be on time for all activities and assemblies, and stay around and look for others to talk to.  If one appears lonely, are sad, try to help.  If one is happy over some good thing which has happened, rejoice with them (Romans 12:15).

            3.  Develop a positive attitude toward the church.  You will be surprised how a negative attitude affects others.  Bad vibrations are catching.

            4.  Love every Christian because you love God (1 John 4:12-13).

            5.  Invite someone over, or go see them and spend some time getting to know them, their problems, hopes, and dreams.  The results will be wonderful for you and them (Romans 12:13; 1 Peter 4:8-9).

            6.  Don’t wait for someone else to make the first move, and don’t be afraid that you are doing more than your share.  God will reward the extra effort (Romans 12:10-11).

            I always think to myself when I consider things like this, “How much work could we get done if we spent as much time working for the church as we do complaining about it or about our brethren.” I think this gives us all something to think about and work towards.