While it is certainly possible to be a good, active Christian without being affiliated with a specific church, there are a myriad of things to be gained by getting involved with a church community.
Not only do such groups provide support for good times as well as challenging ones, but sharing one’s faith with other like-minded Christians helps expose you to different points of view and different interpretations of Christ’s Word – and ultimately help you build a more rounded understanding of your faith.
Building a strong relationship with your church community isn’t essential, but it can help to deepen your faith and your commitment to God.
However, deciding to build a stronger relationship with your church community and actually doing so can be two vastly different things. Some churches are so large that it can seem impossible to approach people. Other congregations are so small that meeting people and connecting with the group can seem like trying to break into a high school clique.
If you’re looking to get more involved, whether you are new to the church or have been attending sermons for years, here are some ideas:
Virtually all churches need volunteers to man their fundraisers, participate in their outreach programs, keep the buildings and the grounds intact and to lead the church. Volunteering to help in one or more of these areas is a great way to connect with other church members individually and as a group.
There are few things more satisfying than accomplishing something together for the good of your church. You can use these contacts to form relationships in other parts of the church as well as outside the parish.
2. Get Plugged In
Most modern churches have social media pages, websites and online newsletters. Keeping abreast of what’s happening in your church helps you feel more a part of the community, and gives you something to talk with others about during the coffee hour after church or when you see individuals out in the community.
Commenting and sharing social media posts can also help you get and stay connected if you work non-traditional hours, and aren’t available for most church activities and functions.
3. Invite a Member to Pray with You
While prayer is often thought of as a singular, private exercise, praying alongside someone else is a powerful way to connect with fellow Christians. You could even start a prayer chain, a prayer shawl knitting and crocheting group, or an adult Bible study group at the church or in someone’s home.
4. Start a Church Band
Gone are the days when all church music was old and slow-paced. Today, Christian rock encompasses a wide range of musical styles, from folk music to heavy metal to rap. Liven up your church services or events, or take your band out into the community with a Christian rock band made up of church members. You’ll be surprised how talented the members of your church are.
5. Go Ecumenical
Another great way to strengthen your bond with other members of your church community is to form an inter-church group to share ideas, to accomplish an outreach goal, or simply for prayer. By sharing what’s special about your church with those from other churches in your area, you can better see what makes your church–and your members–special, while learning from those of other churches.
Forging a strong bond with the people in your church doesn’t have to be an impossible task and can offer amazing rewards. By doing things like volunteering, getting plugged in, working together with other churches and inviting another church member to pray with you, you can share and deepen your faith with people who believe as you do. When it comes to building a faith-based community, one and one really do equal three.
Sharing your faith with others in your church community can offer you new insights and a new perspective that can help you grow closer to God. Use our ideas to help you and your church members brainstorm about how to better connect.
~ 1776 Christian