As you walk into church on Sunday, what are you thinking about?

What or who is on your mind?

I’ve just read How to Walk into Church by Tony Payne again, and it’s refreshed my perspective of how we can love others as we gather at church. Most of the following is inspired by Payne’s book and I’d recommend reading it for yourself. If you’d like a copy, just let me know, I’d be happy to give you one.

Some might wonder why we would focus on loving others at church? Isn’t church about meeting with God?

Payne speaks of the wonder of being part of God’s heavenly church. Our Sunday gathering is more than a physical collection of people. We’re part of a vast assembly of forgiven sinners who have been washed clean and made right with God through the blood of Jesus Christ. We can confidently look forward to when we will be gathered with Christians from all nations and ages worshipping Jesus in heaven.

Our Sunday gatherings are a wonderful expression of God’s great heavenly church. When we walk into church, we’re walking into a family gathering that God the Father has brought together.

In 1 Corinthians 12-14 we’re reminded that we’re transformed to belong together as part of Christ’s body, and we’re gifted to love each other and build each other up. We need God and we need each other to keep growing as followers of Jesus on Sunday and throughout the week.

How has God gifted you to build others up? How has God’s great love for you enabled you to love your church family?

Here are four things we can do to love our church family better:

  1. Go to church. When we come to church we have the great opportunity to love others, talk to them, and encourage them to take their next step with Jesus. We miss this opportunity if we don’t go to church.
  2. Pray for God to bring all his people together so we may be built up as we sing, pray and explore God’s word together.
  3. Think. I remember what changed my approach to coming to church. I was part of a Growth Group ten years ago where we wrote down all the different types of people in our church. Older married couples, single parents, uni students, toddlers, teachers… The big question we asked and answered was, “How could I love this person better?
  4. Speak God’s word to encourage each other to appreciate and live out God’s truth for our lives. But what if you don’t know what to say? Pray that God would give you the words to encourage and build up others.

Some of us feel more comfortable at church than others. Let’s look out for ways to love those who may feel more uncomfortable at church – the newcomers, the person on the margins, or the person who seems different to us.

What could it look like to love them?

  1. Pray for who you will sit next to and talk to on Sunday.
  2. Sit next to them and say hello.
  3. Be curious about them and who they are.
  4. Introduce them to others.
  5. Invite them to join the life of our church family.

What could church look like if we all came, not for what we individually could get out of it, but to love our brothers and sisters by seeking to build them up in Christ? Let’s walk into church in a way that will help us all walk out encouraged and ready to shine as lights for Jesus in every part of our lives.

God bless,

Hosea Luy
Assistant Minister | 9:45am & 11:30am