24 Jan 2015

Making Church Feel Like Home

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Richard is a member of CTPC and is currently serving as a deacon and leader of the college ministry.

A New Year

It’s another new year and for many of you that means making some New Year’s resolutions. Pastor Young’s sermon a few weeks ago on building the church reminded me of this blog post from last year, God has Given Everything. What Can I Give? In the sermon, he touched on the response that we should have when we truly experience God’s grace. The question he raised was, do you walk into church every Sunday with the mindset of “what can I get out of it [church]?” or with the mindset of “what can I give?” The former is where we usually start as new Christians or new church-goers. The latter is where we should be, in light of the Gospel.

So where are you as we begin 2015? If you have been in CTPC for some time—a few months, or even a few years—observing and waiting to decide if this is the right church for you, hesitant to get too involved, perhaps God is tugging at your heart this year to commit. I hate to break it to you, but if you have been in our church for quite some time, it probably is the church where God wants you to be. And that of course is a good thing! God calls us to be in a church, to grow as a Christian, and to help others grow in their walks with God

“God has given us all that we need, to accomplish what He wants us to accomplish, and if you’re here—and you’re a Christian—God has brought you for a reason.

Are you Home or in a Hotel?

It is so easy for us to become a church that is uncaring, unmotivated, and unwilling to respond to God’s grace. What do I mean by that? When we fail to respond to God’s grace, we end up simply being consumers of the church without becoming part of the church. Consumers shop around to find what they want, until what they want is no longer there. After that, they simply move on. Being part of a church requires time and sacrifice, but it allows you to experience God and fellowship with others in a deeper way.

To think of it in a different way, consider the church as literally your home. Your home is where you spend time with family. Additionally, home is where you spend time doing chores—helping wash the dishes, vacuum the floors, doing laundry, etc. Yes, it may take your time and energy to do these things, but it lets you know that you are part of a family because you are invested in it. You have a common vested interest with everyone else in your family to help upkeep your home. On the other hand, consider what it would look like living in a hotel, where you don’t need to make the beds and take out the trash. Consider only being there to eat, sleep, and lounge around without regard for the upkeep of the place.

In this case, is there a sense of belonging or a sense of family? I tend to think not, as there is no vested interest in the hotel. Your only interest is to see that your needs are met— clean linen, fresh towels, room service, etc. Despite the potential to feel like this would be great and exactly what you want in life, there’s probably a part of you that also realizes that you could only do that for so long. Sooner or later, and whether we know it or not, we all desire to be a part of a family. Whether it’s your actual family, or a close group of friends you call family, or in this case a church family, we all have an innate desire to be a part of something bigger.

“As much as you want to sit on the sidelines, if you’ve been here for months and years, God has probably been stirring your heart to say, what can you give? what can you do?”

So if you want to respond to God’s grace this year and make CTPC your home and not just a temporary residence, you can start by reading the previous blog linked above, but also think about things such as membership, baptism, and confirmation, as well as considering serving in one of the areas listed below. Remember, serving in church is what makes it feel like a home!

Get Involved

This list is not exhaustive—if you want to get involved in the church, but not sure where to start, contact any of the deacons (in bold are the areas with the most urgent or pressing needs)!

Fridays:

  • Abundant Life – Cooking, cleanup, small group leader, praise leader
  • Youth Group –

Sundays:

  • EM Service – Praise Team, audio/video team, ushers
  • TM Service – Audio/Video Team
  • CM – Teacher/Assistant
  • Lunch Server, Lunch Cleanup

Other (non-specific days):

  • Snow Crew
  • Help with organizing regular large group gatherings and special large group events for EM
  • Help translate sermons from English -> Chinese
  • Spring and Fall Clean Up
  • Decorating for Christmas Season
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