How long How have you been a follower of Jesus Christ? How long have you been part of a local church? How much of that time have you sat in the congregation listening and learning? I have attended church for many years now, because I have been a follower of Christ for many years. It is very important to sit, listen, and learn. But lately as I observe church (including my own involvement), I wonder how the number of hours that we've sat in church would compare with the number of hours we've served in the church; or how the number of hours we've sat in church would compare with the number of hours we've served outside of the church.
Can you imagine the impact the church would have on our local communities if everyone who sat in church served either in the church, or outside the church, (or both)? What about world impact? Imagine the greater impact we would have world-wide if we served more that we sat!
Church is not only about sitting. It is also about serving. Yes, we must sit. But we must take what we get from sitting and apply it to serving. Sitting is the receiving part. Serving is the giving part. Jesus said, "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give." (Matthew 10:8) We eagerly focus on the things we can freely receive, instead of the costly things we should give away. However it is the serving/giving that makes the greatest impact on others!
People should want to serve more than sit. This is how churches grow. This is how new ministries are birthed. This is how new vision becomes a reality. When the ratio of serving to sitting begins to increase, churches not only grow, they also become healthier. Folks who follow after Christ grow in their relationship with Him. Don't forget, the heart of Jesus is not only in the sitting, but more so in the serving.
It will always be very important that we go to church to sit. But it is equally (and probably more) important that we don't just sit, but we serve. Add to that the extreme significance of serving when we exit the doors of our church.
Your church is always offering areas of service to those who will volunteer to serve. If not, you can find areas in which you can serve outside of the church. Do something special for your neighbors. Go on a short-term missions trip. That will change your life. Take a leap of faith into something beyond your personal capabilities and watch Jesus do the miraculous for (and more importantly) through you. Do stuff that changes the lives of others who are less fortunate than you. Jesus says if you do it to the seemingly insignificant, the seemingly unimportant, you have done it to Him! "The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me." (Matthew 25:40)