Contribute to the activities of the local church
All Christians are part of the body of Christ, and it should be the norm that they demonstrate this by their active involvement in a local church, which gathers to the name of the Lord Jesus. Some circumstances, such as ill health, may mean not all of the following are always possible, but please prayerfully consider Romans 12. 3 - 8 and 1 Corinthians 12. 4 - 7 and 11 - 31 if you think you do not have a useful place in a local church!
What is it?
The privilege and responsibility of being a part of a local assembly is for sisters, brothers, young and old, with different gifts and abilities to act in harmony for the glory of God, the showing of His character, witnessing to the world, and mutual spiritual blessing.
Why does it matter?
- The assembly is very precious to God, Acts 20. 28.
- The Lord Jesus is present and assessing the contribution of all, Rev. 2 and 3.
- Our contribution should be for everyone’s benefit, 1 Cor. 14. 12, 26.
- We will all be rewarded based on our input, 1 Cor. 3.
How can I contribute?
- Use the specific gift and ability the Lord has given you. We should pray about, discover and develop this gift, 1 Tim. 4. 14, 2 Tim. 1. 6, so that we can fulfil the ‘function in the body’ that we have been given, 1 Cor. 12. 11, 12.
- Act with unity. The expression one accord is used repeatedly in the book of Acts; see also Rom. 12. 18, Eph. 4. 3)
- By being present at meetings whenever possible, Heb. 10. 25.
- Show care and love to others, Heb. 13. 1. This may include practical help, visiting, encouraging, sharing of experiences and giving guidance to others, Gal 6. 1 - 2, Rom. 12. 15. There is a wealth of opportunity to serve if we are willing, Rom. 16. 2.
- Pray at meetings, Acts 4. 24, 1 Tim. 2. 8 and everyday we should be privately praying for the assembly, Col. 1. 9.
- Spread the gospel, Acts 6. 7, 1 Thess. 1. 8.
- Give financially, Acts 4. 34, Phil. 4. 15 - 16.
- Learn from scripture, Acts 2. 42, 2 Tim. 3. 14 - 16. This will not only mean we grow in our understanding, but it will also help guard against error.
- Be supportive and helpful towards elders, Heb. 13. 17.
Some other practical considerations
The importance of our personal contribution to the assembly should impact on decisions that we make about our:
- Career - the spiritual prosperity of the local assembly is far more important than worldly success, Rev. 2. 9, 3. 17.
- Home location - our ability to contribute to the local assembly should be a key factor in deciding where to live.
- Lifestyle - being careful to ensure nothing we do spoils the holiness of the testimony, 1 Cor. 5. 6.
- Travelling/holidays - should be seen as an opportunity to enjoy fellowship elsewhere, Acts 20. 6 - 7.
- Time - our efforts and energy should be channelled into what will last, 1 Cor. 3. 10 - 15.