Do you realize that for believers, many types of needs should be met without going outside the church? We are meant to be a self-sustaining body. After several decades in ministry, I have seen only one way for the church to function as it should: Christians must commit to give of themselves on behalf of others.
For example, a man determines to pray and struggle alongside a hurting brother until a burdensome situation is resolved or peace returns. Or a woman makes herself available to answer a new Christian’s questions about the weekly sermon—the two ladies search the Bible and fill their minds with Scripture. And there are countless other ways to serve, such as driving an elderly member to the service, teaching a Sunday school class, or visiting a weary single mom and listening to her concerns.
Before you become overwhelmed by the variety of needs in your church, let me remind you that loving each other is meant to be a body-wide effort. One person cannot meet every need. But suppose you commit to serving a small group of folks whom God brings into your sphere of influence. If, in order to care for them, you surrender self-focused preferences about resources and time, the Lord will bless you with more joy and contentment than you’ve ever known.
To serve others before serving yourself is to practice authentic Christianity. I’m certain that if believers commit to meeting as many needs as the Lord brings to their attention, then a lethargic church can be transformed, becoming a true body of believers who function together for the glory of God.