I am one of those people who fell away from God and church for a long time as a younger adult. The reasons don’t matter – it’s stupid to ignore God. I found out He’s totally in charge, real, and important. But I missed seeing that for some years.
When I found my way back I had a good experience that then turned bad. Again, details don’t matter, except that unlike many baby Christians who wander into a toxic church, my faith survived. I knew in my heart that I was doing the right thing, but in the wrong place.
I searched for over a year before joining a new church. At times I was attending two Sunday services and a couple of Bible studies in different churches each week. That way I wasn’t a “traitor” to my then current church, but I could start to break the shackles that it had put on me.
I found, or God guided me to, Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church. I promised my wife that I’d be low key for a change. No offices sought, no great deeds done, “just a member, honey.” And I was true to my word for a couple of years.
Last year I took up a few little tasks for the church. I suggested some changes to social media and then butted out. I came in and helped mow the lawn and sprayed for weeds. No biggie, but it felt pretty good to do something helpful. I liked looking at the dead weeds and thinking how it was a little something I actually was good at in this life. (I used to do it professionally – then again, what haven’t I done?)
Recently the church asked me to participate on a committee. With my crazy work schedule, blogging, writing novels, being a husband, voice over, acting, dog ownership, gardening, and general chaos, this presented a challenge. I agreed to help, but not attend meetings. I couldn’t spread myself that thinly and still do justice to the other stuff. Until Saturday.
I attended a meeting and loved it. I had good stuff to contribute and didn’t get a ton of tasks to do in return. They respected my time and my request to just kibbitz. Annette, the chairwoman, is so organized and so wonderful to deal with (she’s made of steel and I respect that) that it was actually fun.
But that’s just a little thing. What I’m really enjoying is my weekly picture at the service. I have a great application on my Android phone called Paper Artist. Each week I take a picture of something going on up on the podium and post it to various social media that I use. I try to use a different filter each time, a different topic, a different message. It’s working – people are sharing the pictures. One from this week is below this paragraph.
So, what’s the point? In most of our church lives we’re spectators. We’ve been wounded, or are afraid to be wounded, and so we sit back and do nothing. I was for a long time. But now I’m participating. A big part of that is sharing my joy and witnessing to others about my faith. Facebook isn’t just for pictures of your cat. It can be about your faith and your love of God. I’d like to challenge each of you to take that step of faith and spread the Gospel via instagram, facebook, twitter, or some other medium. And join a committee – even if it’s just the clean up group for the next church social. Your help is what makes it all work. You can be the hands and feet of Christ without having to go to the rainforest. You can do it right in your town this very week. Now, get on with it!