Dear Christ Church,
Almost every Sunday night my parents would lead our family in a time of prayer and discussion about our church service that day. There were definitely plenty of eye rolls from us kids. However, there were two questions that they would always ask which I have never forgotten, and have shaped how I approach every Sunday gathering to this day.
They would ask: Who did you meet that was new? What did you do to serve?
Those weren’t random questions. My parents were trying to instill something in us. They were trying to teach us that the best life comes when your life isn’t about you. It is so easy to come into a Sunday service only thinking about what we hope to get out of it. There is certainly nothing wrong with wanting to experience God and be built up personally. However, God wants something more for us than that. Not only does he want to meet us, he wants to use us. If we are only coming to the Sunday service with ourselves in mind, then we are missing out on a bigger reason (and greater joy) that God has for us. We are missing out on how God wants to use us in other’s lives.
Who did you meet that was new?
We don’t have a greeting team at Christ Church and that is a very intentional choice. I don’t want a new person to be greeted by someone because it is that person’s “obligation” that week. Every member of Christ Church should view themselves as greeters. It’s been studied that people make a decision within 5 minutes of walking into a church whether is is a place they will return to or not. At the end of a service people make a decision within 2 minutes whether they will stay to connect with people or leave, because they aren’t being engaged. I’m so grateful that the comment I get again and again from visitors is how welcomed they felt. However, the more we grow the harder this will be. It will become easier and easier to just greet our friends and talk to the people that we want to catch up with. So ask yourself on your way over to church; who can you meet that is new? Ask your kids this question too. Start training them now. In our culture teens don’t engage anyone, but only think about themselves. It can be a tremendous testimony to see teens interacting with adults and younger children, as well as reaching out to other teens who are new.
What did you do to serve?
Most of our members serve on some kind of ministry team. We are incredibly blessed to have a church that takes serving as an act of worship to God. But there are always unexpected things that can come up. Spills happen, moms with strollers need help opening doors, trash is left out, someone needs some prayer or a word of encouragement, extra chairs need to be set up, some chairs need to be taken down. I remember a Sunday where I blew out of church and ran off to play with my friends. When my Dad asked what we had done to serve that day, I had no answer. He asked me why. I told him that no one had asked me to do anything. I’ll never forget his response, “Isn’t it good that Jesus didn’t wait to be asked?” As followers of Jesus, we don’t wait to be asked and just check off the little box that we’ve been assigned. No, we are to follow the example of Christ, who defined himself as a servant who came to look out for the interest of others.
So Christ Church: Who can you meet that is new? Who can you serve?
Grace and peace,
You can connect with me:
On twitter: @Pastor_Jeff
On Facebook: Jeff Boettcher