It’s made me question my value in being involved in a church community.
Reference: The priests, who were heads of families, numbered 1,760. They were able men, responsible for ministering in the house of God. (1 Chronicles 9:13 NIV)
Explore: Both my husband and I have been heavily involved in church ministry for many years. Depending on the needs of the churches we’ve attended, we have always been on a roster or two.
Becoming a parent of young children has changed that dramatically for us. When our preschoolers came into our family through the foster system, we realised that our home responsibilities had increased. Only one of us would be able to be rostered on at a time, and due to the needs of our church, we decided that Cam could be used more.
This has been such a huge change for me. Although I have been out of paid ministry for quite some time, this brought a number of challenges. Through not being involved structurally, I’ve struggled to meet people, it’s meant that I am often the sole carer of our children on a Sunday, and it’s made me question my value in being involved in a church community.
Due to my dedication to our children, there is little I can change about being on a roster at this stage, but a few months ago I decided to change my mindset. Although I can not physically help on a Sunday, there are certainly other ways I can contribute.
Every time I sit in the congregation (often on my own), I make an effort to speak to someone I don’t know (usually everyone sitting around me!). I do my best to be friendly and engaging to make them feel welcome. I may not ever sit near them again, as our church is quite large, but I can do my best to make them feel welcome and comfortable.
I have also made a real effort to be an encouragement to those I do know in the church. No matter how important a person may be, they still need to be uplifted in what they are doing. Whether it’s a text message or even just a Facebook post, I can encourage others, no matter how many children I’m caring for!
These contributions may not be written down on a roster or highlighted during volunteer week, but it is a way for me to contribute to the house of God whilst still prioritising my home responsibilities.
Application: In the times that 1 Chronicles was written, every tribe had their responsibilities and it was the family line of Levi who was in charge of the holy ceremonies and items.
These days we do not pass our rostered church responsibilities down to our children, but we step up depending on our availability and our gifts. This year I have learned that our availability does not cancel out our ability to contribute.
Maybe you can be a stealth welcomer like me or, if you’re not that outgoing, pray for the service and those who are involved. It could be as simple as picking up some rubbish that someone else left behind, that would save someone else the time to do it.
In a way, we are all Levites now. We are all called to contribute to ministering in the house of God. We all have differing abilities, but we are all responsible.
Prayer: Lord, help me to see all the different ways I can contribute to the church. May I see it as my responsibility to help others to connect with You when they attend church. Amen.
How can you minister for God within your situation?
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.
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