If you are a believer you have been supernaturally gifted by God for the good of the local church. There are a number of ways you can begin to use those gifts at Living Hope.
Here are three beginning steps:
1. Begin where you are. You might ask yourself the following questions:
What can I say or do today that will bring glory to God?
What can I do to develop a deeper and fuller understanding of Christ and His love for me?
What are three physical needs that I can meet in my church?
What are four spiritual needs that I can meet in my church?
If I can’t think of any, what can I do to change that?
Have I studied Scripture today? Do I have a regular Bible study plan?
Who can I pray for? What spiritual need can I pray for them about?
What needs are there in my church that I can pray for?
Do I love God? What great truth can I meditate on?
What lusts am I waging war with today? What areas of my life am I compromising in?
What can I do to help my children understand the gospel? What do my children need to learn about God?
Who is there in my life that I can share the gospel with this week?
Who can I call this week? What questions can I ask to get to know them better?
What specific ways can I encourage someone else in the church this week? When am I going to do it?
What does a good friend look like? Do I match my description?
What am I doing to seek the unity of the church?
Is there a card I can write to someone else to encourage them?
Is there any sacrifice in the way I love others? If not, why not? How can I sacrificially love others this week?
How can I prepare myself for worship on Sunday?
How can I humbly honor someone else above myself?
Who do I have a difficult time getting along with in the church? What can I do to encourage that person?
What are five ways that I can show my wife or husband that I love them? How about my children?
What have I learned this week? Who can I share it with?
How can I show mercy to someone who is not part of the church? What can I give up for someone else’s good?
2. Commit yourself to the local church and meet with the leadership to discover how you can help the church fulfill its mission.
3. Don’t think programs as much as you think people.
I have found that sometimes people think they aren’t engaged in ministry unless they are part of an official program. It doesn’t have to be quite that complicated. Love God by loving the person in front of you. Francis Schaeffer once put it like this,
“Don’t start with a big program. Don’t suddenly think you can add to your church budget and begin. Start personally and start in your home. I dare you. I dare you in the name of Jesus Christ. Do what I am going to suggest. Begin by opening your home for community…
How many times in the past year have you risked having a drunk vomit on your carpeted floor? How in the world, then, can you talk about compassion and about community - about the church’s job in the inner city?
L’Abri is costly. If you think what God has done here is easy, you don’t understand. It’s a costly business to have a sense of community. L’Abri cannot be explained merely by the clear doctrine that is preached; it cannot be explained by the fact that God has here been giving intellectual answers to intellectual questions. I think those two things are important, but L’Abri cannot be explained if you remove the third. And that is there has been some community here. And it has been costly.
In about the first three years of L’Abri all our wedding presents were wiped out. Our sheets were torn. Holes were burned in our rugs. Indeed once a whole curtain almost burned up from somebody smoking in our living room…Everybody came to our table. It couldn’t happen any other way. Drugs came to our place. People vomited in our rooms, in the rooms of Chalet Les Melezes which was our home, and now in the rest of the chalets of L’Abri.
How many times has this happened to you? You see, you don’t need a big program. You don’t have to convince your session or board. All you have to do is open your home and begin. And there is no place in God’s world where there are no people who will come and share a home as long as it is a real home.”