Officially place membership. That is, put down roots in a particular congregation and let the leadership know you want to be considered a part of the flock there. Your decisiveness in doing so will not only help you in your development of a sense of belonging and responsibility, but will aid that congregation’s leaders as they seek to lead the flock there well and to shepherd your life with purpose.
Know that where you park makes a difference to others. Don’t park close to the building unless you must. Deliberately park in the back half of the parking lot, leaving the half closest to the building available for guests, the handicapped, and others. Are your knees and hips still good? Good, park a little further and leave the closer spots for those whose joints aren’t nearly so good as yours. It doesn’t just make good sense to do so, it’s a part of considering others before yourself, right (Rom. 12)?
What’s true for parking also holds true for seating. Unless you have a special need, deliberately sit further in on the pew or the row, deliberately leaving the aisle seats available for guests and those who truly need such. Sit a little closer to the front, too, deliberately leaving seating at the rear available for latecomers, etc. That simple, physical act will help impress on your mind that as Christ served/serves you, you’re to be a servant of others in every way. Your obvious display of attention and interest will also strongly encourage all who lead the gatherings, too. This is a win-win-win for all.
Take five. Meaning take the first five minutes following the conclusion of a gathering to either greet newcomers, to encourage those who are there that day, but who are rarely there on other occasions, or to be present with those you’ve just learned of having a deep need in their life. Pray tell, what could possibly be more important during those five minutes?
Keep folks in the loop as to where you are. How many times have you has a conversation like the following? “Where’s Joe & Suzanne?” ” I don’t know.” “Me neither.” “Been a couple of weeks, hasn’t it?” “Seems like it.” “I hope everything’s good.” “Me too.” “Maybe we’ll see them next week.” “Maybe so.” Or maybe not. Better, when you let folks know where you’re at, you not only do right by your own need for accountability and prayer, you do right by those who care for you by removing a concern and replacing it with knowledge, love, and care. Not many folks deliberately try to slip through the cracks into inactivity or invisibility and though you might think such could never be you, it could. So be pro-active in building up your defenses against becoming so. Instead of just being there when you can or waiting on others to seek you out when you’re not, make the first move yourself. Keep church leaders posted as to your whereabouts.
Remember that money matters. So either double-up ahead of time before you go out-of-town or make up your contribution when you come back home from that business trip, vacation, or wherever life takes you. Do it without fail for while you were gone, the bills continued on. No, it’s not all about money, but it is about being a responsible, dependable steward of, and support to, all ministry done in the name of Christ.
Spend regular time interceding with God. Everyone in your church family needs your prayers, not just those who are on the sick list this week. Every ministry in the congregation can benefit from your praise to, and intercession with, the Father, not just the one that’s in the spotlight at the moment. Every action your church helps support elsewhere – be it a mission point, a benevolent work or whatever – should be included in your conversations with Christ, not just the ones that are clearly experiencing a harvest time at this time. As you make yourself aware of the good efforts and actions of others, you’ll find yourself more motivated and stimulated, as well as sharpened and made wiser, as to your own. And a better you makes for a healthier body of Christ overall.