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What can I do to be a help to my church?

(1) Be faithful to attend and participate. Obviously you can't be of much help to your church if you don't show up or take part. Some people underestimate their value of simply being present. Joining together with others adds to their encouragement, and it encourages the leaders and the pastor who have prayed and prepared all week to minister to you (Heb. 10:24-25).

I can remember back as a teenager how I "took for granted" those things my parents worked so hard to provide for me. I especially recall an incident where my mother spent her afternoon cooking something special for me for supper. However, preoccupied with something else, I didn't bother to even show up. How this hurt my mother, to feel that her labor of love was not appreciated. Pastors often feel the same way when their flock doesn't show up. I can remember times praying and fasting for the needs of our families, working into the late hours to prepare teachings that would stir their souls, only to find their empty seat on Sunday morning. This can discourage God's man from trying his best.

It helps your pastor and the whole church for you to come faithfully and on time. And don't merely sit there like a bump on a log. Be friendly, put a smile on your face, and enter into the service by singing and worshiping. You can even utter an audible Amen or two when the pastor makes a good point. Go ahead, it'll make his day!

(2) Commit yourself to love the Lord and your brethren. The Bible teaches that all the desires of God are condensed into only two cardinal commandments that Jesus gave to His followers. He said, "...You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself" (Luke 10:27). By clothing ourselves in God's love, we help the church to reinforce this objective for every believer, and we also help to eliminate the elements of conflict and division which can hinder the unity of the church. "I... beseech you to have a walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Eph. 4:1-3).

(3) Pray for your church and its pastor and leaders. The Apostle Paul explained that it is the duty of Christians to pray for all who are in authority, especially those in spiritual authority. "I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence" (1 Tim. 2:1-2). Your church leaders are on the cutting edge of the battle with Satan, and will face temptations and spiritual conflict unlike anything you could imagine. The devil knows that if he can topple a spiritual leader or get him discouraged enough to quit, it will have a domino effect on the rest of the church. You can be a tremendous help by praying fervently for your church, and especially for the pastor and his family.

Especially helpful, attend the church prayer meetings, where you can come into agreement with others, and where the pastors and leaders can see and feel your prayer support for them and the church. God promised special strength through the combined prayer of His children. "Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven" (Matt. 18:19).

(4) Help shoulder the load of responsibility. Pastors and leaders of the church often feel much like Moses did when Israel fought with Amalek. Their arms become weary under the weight of so many responsibilities and they need brothers and sisters to stand beside them and help distribute the load. "But Moses' hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun" (Ex. 17:12).

The Lord never intended for the whole ministry of the church to be carried solely by the pastor or a mere handful of people. It's said that the majority of the work is done by the same faithful few, and sadly, this has caused the "burnout" of its many outstanding workers. If everyone would simply pitch in and do their fair share in helping, serving, giving, and so forth, all the needs would be met and no one would be overburdened.

I was once told the story of a young pastor assigned to serve as the minister of a small, rural congregation in a farming community. A part of his assignment was to try to straighten the church's severe financial problems. For years the church had struggled with its finances, unable to afford a full time pastor or to keep its bills paid.

Upon arrival the pastor examined the church income and realized it would be necessary to find additional employment to supplement his meager salary from the church. There weren't many job opportunities in the small nearby town, but he was finally hired by the local grain elevator. Most of the people in his church were farmers, and the local grain company happened to be where they all would bring their harvest to sell for market.

A year passed and the church conducted its annual business meeting. When the treasurer read the report of the finances, the congregation could hardly believe what they heard. The church income had more than doubled. All debts had been paid up and there was a surplus of savings in the bank! One church member stood and asked, "Pastor, never in our church history have we ever seen a financial miracle like this. Tell us what you did to change the situation."

The Pastor replied, "Well, when I first came and looked at the church books, I noticed that only a small portion of the church members were paying their tithes. This was the problem with the finances. So, after I got hired by the grain elevator, every time you all would come and sell your grain I would just automatically deduct your tithe from your check and put it directly into the church account! You never missed the 10 percent, and all the needs of the church were more than met."

You'll be relieved to know that most pastors don't work for grain elevators, and it's not likely that your employer will secretly deduct your tithe from your wages. However, this story serves to illustrate that if everyone would just do their fair share, all the needs of the body will be met.

Be willing to volunteer for whatever needs to be done and don't be finicky about what you will or will not do — not just for strokes of attention, but do it for God's glory. "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might..." (Ec. 9:10).

A church is like any other organization with human resources. No one ever starts out at the top. Everyone knows that we have to start at the "entry level." But if a believer continues to grow strong in Christian character and proves faithful and responsible to the basic tasks given to them in the church, he or she will likely be promoted to greater responsibility and ministry. "He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much" (Luke 16:10).

(5) Get to know your spiritual leaders and cooperate with them. The more you get to know them and their Godly lifestyle, the more you will likely come to trust their leadership. You will have a greater credibility in their teaching and counsel (1 Thes. 5:12). Show respect and cooperate with their authority. Avoid challenging their right or worthiness to serve in their position, but accept that God has seen fit to place them in this role (Rom. 13:1). Belligerence or antagonism toward leadership may be acceptable in secular society, but there is no place for it in the Lord's church. "Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account..." (Heb. 13:17).

(6) Apply the teaching and ministry to your life. There's not much that a pastor loves more than to see his flock practicing what he has preached — living a Godly, holy life, and on their knees seeking the Lord. Learn to appreciate the spiritual values they try to instill in the congregation. "Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern" (Phil. 3:17).

Each year there is a national pastor's appreciation Sunday. Upon learning about this upcoming recognition, one of my members spent time thinking about what he could do to show appreciation toward his pastor. He became inspired to do something quite amazing. Unknown to me, he took the church phone directory and called every member, urging them to come to the weekly church prayer meeting. To my pleasant surprise, the evening of the prayer was unusually packed with people. I was elated that this dear member had discovered precisely what "rings a pastor's bell." He understood my value upon spiritual things. As far as I was concerned, there could have been no greater expression of appreciation than this. A pastor doesn't enter the ministry with the goals of great earthly gain or financial rewards. He enters ministry to bring people to God, to help bring them closer to Him.

It helps your church when you live and conduct yourself in a Christ-like manner. Whether you realize it or, you're a walking billboard for your church. Whatever the people of your community see in your life, they will tend to identify with your pastor and his flock. Behave yourself and speak well of the church and your pastor. Eyes and ears are always open to the things you say and do.

(7) Seek out and use your gifts. According to the scriptures, the Lord distributes gifts to each in the body as it pleases Him. Spiritual gifts are not provided to you merely for your own gratification, but so the church would be edified or built up. God has given you gifts that will be a help to your church — it is up to you to discover them, develop and utilize them under the direction and cooperation with your spiritual leaders. By doing so, you will glorify God and be a great help to your church. "Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel" (1 Cor. 14:12).

(8) Contribute to solutions and not to problems. Every pastor would be thrilled if each of his members got involved and helped the church in some way. However, they would rejoice if certain ones simply stopped being a "pain in the neck." It's a shame that pastors spend so much time "putting out fires," that is, squelching problems that could have a negative influence on the whole body, such as gossip, rumors, complaining, misunderstandings, hurt feelings, discontent and so forth. Regrettably, it has been said that 90% of these kinds of problems are circulated among the same 10% of the people.

Spiritually mature persons who wish to help their church don't become a part of such problems — instead, they contribute to solutions. They avoid divisive people (Rom. 16:17) and don't get caught up in the mischief or grievances of others (1 Tim. 5:13). If they are aware of spreading problems in the fellowship, they will try to bring a resolution, or else they bring matters to the attention of spiritual leadership so that they can bring an end to it (Matt. 18:15-17). People who wish to be an asset to their church don't participate with or spread problems — they help spiritual leadership resolve them.

This article is from the book, What People Ask About the Church, authored and copyrighted © by Dr. Dale A. Robbins, 1990-2015, and is a publication of Victorious Publications, Grass Valley, CA - Nashville, TN. Unless otherwise stated, all scripture references were taken from The New King James Bible, © Thomas Nelson Inc., 1982. You may download this article for personal use as long as you retain credit to the author. Obtain permission before reproducing copies for any reason, by filling out our simple use permission form. Many of our writings are also available as free pdf tri-fold pamphlets, which can be downloaded for reproduction from our Online Catalog. For media reproduction rights, or to obtain quantities of this title in other formats, email us. A newer revised version of this book is available from Amazon. If you have appreciated these online materials, help us reach the world with the Gospel by considering a monthly or one-time tax-deductable donation.