Keep the Conversation Going
Have you ever thought about how you could share God's Word on a Sunday?
Now, I'm not asking you to become the preacher or the Sunday school teacher (though, it's important that we have people for those). What I am saying is that Sunday is about more than just the Word preached from the pulpit or the classroom; Sunday is a day where you (yes, you) can come prepared to share God's word with the other people at God's church.
Consider this from the book of Hebrews:
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. -- Heb. 10:24-25
I hope that you see that the appropriate question to ask yourself out of this is, "Have I considered how to spur others towards love and good deeds? Have I thought about how I might encourage others at my church?"
Colin Marshall, CEO of Vinegrowers and co-author of The Trellis & the Vine, gives these suggestions for those who are expecting God to use them in ministering to one another on Sundays:
- Pray during the service that God would lead your conversations, and pray for specific people around you.
- Listen to what God is saying to you through the sermon (or songs, creeds, and so on) and formulate a comment or question to start a conversation. This past week at our church, the sermon was on what it means to praise the Lord, from Psalms 146-150. Since I was thinking about this article (and, I hope, for more godly reasons), I picked out two things to try as conversation-starters after church.
- With another couple we somehow got into a conversation about their blended family, and I reminded them of God's favor towards the alien, orphans, and widows (Ps. 146). Since the husband is not yet a believer, I was deliberately talking about God's character. I have no idea what effect it had on him.
- Even if the conversations don't always get off the ground, your enthusiasm for learning the Bible and knowing God will be contagious. And non-Christians will see that church isn't dull and boring but fascinating and life-shattering.
- These intentional conversations after church will sometimes lead to prayer for one another. Why not stop for a moment and give thanks or petition God for some need?
- Another way to deepen our fellowship is to ask each other how we came to salvation in Christ. Sometimes we've been in church with people for years without ever learning their story. The other day at church I asked a guy named Phil how he became a Christian, and we discovered God had worked in us in very similar ways as young men. The door is now open to building a friendship with this brother. What a joy!
The key thing is, God wants to be working through you, not just to have you hear His Word on Sunday, but also for you to bring His Word to others. It will look different for each person (based on personality, knowledge, experience, etc.), but the results are the same: God's people encouraged, challenged, comforted, and strengthened.
Whether it's from the pulpit or over some coffee and donuts between services, if we are prayerfully bringing God's Word to share on Sunday, we get to be part of God's work to grow His church to the glory of His name.
Catch the rest of Colin Marshall's blog on this topic here.
Derick Zeulner is an associate pastor at South Shores Church. He has a M.A. in Theology from Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, CA and he loves the wacky adventures of doing life with his wife, Rebecca, and 4 kids.