Getting Involved In A Church

How do you get involved in a church? How do you get accepted and become part of the core group of people (this can be a very large group) who serve and lead the church?

This is a major issue and worth discussing. Two things must happen.

First, the church must be open to allowing new people to become the heart of the church. The Letter of James deals with this kind of attitude. James played out a scenario. Suppose two people came to your church meeting. One is dressed in fine clothing, the other is obviously poor. What happens? In James’ day, the question was, who gets the best seat and deferential treatment? In our day, the question is, who gets noticed and appreciated?

Most churches think of themselves as friendly. They are–to their friends and the people they know–but what about to outsiders? What happens to the person who is not a Christian and has no idea how a church works?

This is the real test for every church.

We must look at church meetings as an opportunity to love others. James said this is the royal law–love others as you love yourself. Welcome people the way you want to be welcomed, encourage people the way you want to be encouraged.

As you attend church services, look for the people standing or sitting by themselves. Not everyone wants to be gushed over, so give a genuine smile and say something like, “thank you for joining us today.” Sit near that person and help them get involved.

Second, if you are new, make every effort to get involved. Attend four weeks in a row. Go to the new member class. Attend a small group meeting. Don’t rush out the door. Hang around for a few minutes to give people time to speak to you. Make it clear you want to be a part of the church.

Through the years I have noticed that church people don’t want to force themselves on others. They need to get a signal you want to be included.

This is hard work both for the newcomer and the regular attender, but it is well-worth the effort.

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  1. Ellen Harless
    Jan 19, 2013

    Of all the churches that we have been a part of in all our moves, FBC Covington, was the friendliest and most accepting! And we were only there for 2 years! I tried for years to get Randy to let us “commute” to Covington from Baton Rouge!

  2. Ann
    Jan 19, 2013

    A simple way I’ve found to greet people is, “Hi, I don’t believe I’m met you yet,” and then introduce myself. And then, “Have you been here long”? The last question is so much better than “Are you a vistor”? I recall one time we went to church when out of town and we were asked if we were “visitors”. We responded that, yes, we were from out of town. We were then introduced (as “these folks”) to others as “just visiting”. The word “guest” is so much better than “visitor”. The choice of words is more than semantics. Visitors to a community are normally just passing through. We want folks who come to our church to feel like guests, instead!

    You mentioned a way to help those new to the worship service. We also need to help these feel at ease in a class. Often, pre-lesson chit-chat causes a newbie to feel left-out of the loop, as all the others seem to know what’s going on. I recommend, if a guest comes to class, have a designated person sit by them and whisper info to them, so thay can get a feel for what’s being discussed. And then, sit with them during the worship service, and introduce them to others. Such simple acts definitely will ease the awkwardness of being in unfamiliar surroundings, and reveal genuine welcome and concern.

  3. Ed Matthew
    Jan 19, 2013

    Good Morning.

    Enjoyed your Wisdom Words of instruction.

    Now I wonder if someone else will respond herein with what they are going to do to take action on your teaching, leadership, edification, instructional way of leading by example? I wonder if there are any readers of this Blog who personally need this instruction to get involved?

    My answer to my second question is, at some point in time, we all need to be reminded of what we know to move us to ratify it in our behavior. So for me, personally: Thank You!

    Now for the answer to the first question. I am going to do something I have not done up to this point. I am going to print out this instruction and then make copies of it.

    Oh, I’ve forwarded your blogs before now. But, with your help I will be able to be more personal when I invite someone to First Baptist Church Covington or anywhere else to experience a fellowship of Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. This message will be a tool of accountability, as well as an insight for the invited to consider; to help them see they share with others long standing concerns about perceptions and acceptance. All of life is by design an actionable process.

    May God continue to Bless the Reading and Doing of His Word. Romans 12.


  4. Ed Matthew
    Jan 19, 2013

    Thanks Ann! Hope Clif uses what you said as well as those every gathering. AMEN!
    Blessed by you.

  5. Ed Matthew
    Jan 20, 2013

    Well done. Thanks. You gave the Holy Spirit plenty to work with tonight.

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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[The Armor of God] Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. — Ephesians 6:10-11 (NIV)