Treasured Shift- Changing Our Perspective Of Church Fellowship
By Steph Nickel
What are your complaints about your church fellowship? Steph takes a look at some common complaints and provides tips on how to shift our perspective.
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How Do You View Church Fellowship?
“The leadership is unapproachable.”
“My opinions don’t seem to matter.
“Everyone is so busy.”
“I don’t really feel like I belong.”
These are only a few of the complaints I’ve heard in Christian circles. And while there may be truth in each of these statements, we need to shift our perspective. We need to shift how we deal with each situation.
Recently, I’ve begun to catch a glimpse of change in my own perspective of the church fellowship I’ve been part of for over 30 years. It’s just the faintest glimmer of change, but I trust God will continue to be at work within me.
Let’s assume that each of these concerns has at least an element of truth. What can we do? How can we shift our focus—and our attitude?
Do you find yourself getting restless when the pastor speaks? Does your mind wonder?
Before each worship service, I would encourage you to pray, asking God what He wants you to learn from the message. (I don’t always do this, but I’m going to try to keep it in mind.)
I would also encourage you to take notes as the pastor preaches. This will help you focus and you just may come back to your notes in the future and find something that didn’t stand out to you at the time.
Perhaps you find the leadership of your church difficult to approach.
First, I would encourage you to pray for your leaders regularly. Like the rest of us, they need to be held up in prayer. Plus, there is likely to be a shift in your attitude if you are sincerely praying that God will be at work in and through them.
Be honest with yourself. Perhaps accusing the leaders of being unapproachable causes you to feel justified in not bringing your concerns to them. Personally, I’ve made several excuses over the years.
And if you do choose to share your concerns with them, I would strongly encourage you to do so prayerfully and respectfully. If they don’t implement the change you suggest or give you what you consider a satisfactory answer, don’t give into the temptation to gossip. That will not honour God nor will it achieve the desired change.
And don’t come to the conclusion that your opinion doesn’t matter. Just remember, church leaders have to weigh several factors before making each decision.
And our problems aren’t always with leadership. Sometimes we have issues with the other members of our church family as well.
Everyone is just so busy. I don’t feel like anyone has time for me.
None of us want to admit that these thoughts and others like them even cross our mind. But they do. And sometimes they colour much of what we do and say. They hold us back from being fully committed. They prevent us from getting involved in ministry.
We definitely need a shift in perspective in this area. When we see an area of weakness, it’s likely God wants us be part of the solution. If we count on Him, He will give us wisdom, direction, and motivation.
We must make time for others. And, in so doing, we often find we’re not near as lonely—and neither are they.
Maybe you don’t feel as if you truly belong, like you’re an important member of your church.
Will we ever agree with everything our leaders do and say? Will we ever find a fellowship where we will get along with everyone who attends? Will we ever find a place to worship where we agree with every point of doctrine? Enthusiastically support every decision made? Enjoy every musical selection?
Of course the answer to each question is no.
However, we are meant for community. We are meant to exercise our gifts and abilities to further God’s kingdom and encourage fellow believers. We are meant to do so alongside other imperfect brothers and sisters in Christ.
Let’s seek to be part of the solution today and in the days ahead.
By seeking to obey the Lord’s directives in these, and in all areas, we will, indeed, store up treasure in heaven.
Steph Beth Nickel is a freelance writer and editor. She is the coauthor of Paralympian Deb Willows’ award-winning memoir, Living Beyond My Circumstances, published by Castle Quay Books.
Steph is a member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship and The Word Guild. She and her husband of over 30 years live in Southwestern Ontario, Canada.
Steph’s goal is to nurture and inspire. She blogs at Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests. She also guest posts regularly on the topics of Christian living, writing, and fitness. You can visit her website, stephbethnickel.com, to learn more about her.
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