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Where do you park?

November 20, 2014
Parking LotOften service with in the church is viewed in terms of those tasks which are definable and delegatable. The servants of the church are those who keep nursery, fix meals, visit sick people or do repairs around the church. Servants are those who have jobs that can be identified, and handed over to someone else if one is out sick. In connecting service primarily with tasks serving eventually becomes project oriented instead of people oriented. We are not commanded to serve the church for it’s good to the use of completing an assignment. We are commanded to serve the church for it’s good to the use of edifying. Edification is a uniquely personal work, one that necessitates individuals involving themselves with individuals. Sitting down, talking in the lobby, parking the car or singing with the congregation are overlooked opportunities to serve. These simple acts can be moments of edification in which one believer encourages others in the Lord. How does one serve the church in ways that don’t show up on an organizational chart? How does one serve in the pew, the parking lot and the church lobby? Many answers can be given, but I will give just one. Be thoughtful.

Think about how you can serve in little ways. Are you parking in the best spot because it gives you easy access to the door or allows you to be the first out of the parking lot? Do you park anywhere your car happens to end up? Why not leave the better places for visitors, late comers and elderly? When you look for your seat, do you look to see if your spot has been taken? Look around to see if there is a visitor sitting alone. Look around for someone you don’t know very well. Look for someone who may be hurting or struggling spiritually. Look for someone who has a hard time finding the right pages in the hymnal that you can help during the service. When you go to church, give thought to how your actions can serve the congregation at large. The opportunities for ministry abound in every church every Sunday if you will give thought to how you can serve that day. Think about little ways you can serve others “in deed and in truth.”

Think about who you can serve. Before you arrive at church, think about who is usually there. Who are the lonely ones? Who are the ones with whom no one else sits or talks? Who has been on the prayer chain this week? Who is going through a difficult time? Think ahead about who you will meet. Not to figure out who you want to avoid, but to plan who you can find and serve with your words and actions. Think about who you engage in conversation. Is it always the same group each week? Do you seek out people you don’t know or that you don’t know well? Do you talk with those who are different than you, or only those you feel comfortable around? A few minutes conversation can minister in ways you may never realize. Your speech can “minister grace to the hearers” if you will think about their need and speak to them.

We are creatures of habit. Many church goers park in the same spot, talk to the same people and sit in the same spot week after week without giving any thought to how they can minister in word and deed to the rest of the church family each week. Step out of the weekly routine and give thought to how you can serve the church body and it’s individual members.

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