Last week in this space I encouraged the “one-talent” Christians out there to not lose heart, but rather to rejoice in the “small things” they may be able to do in service to God and to the church. I thought I would follow up today with some specifics.
Again, these are things that virtually any Christian can do. Some (you know who you are, and so do I) are held back because of infirmities of the flesh. But if you are holding this piece of paper in your hand, that means you were able to get to the church building today. That “small thing” right there pretty much ensures your ability to do most if not all of these things.
Stay in your seat.
Again, medical considerations force some to get up from time to time — sometimes just for the sake of getting up. But doing so is a distraction, no matter where we are sitting. It is certainly not edifying (1 Corinthians 14:26). Getting a drink of water during the closing song tells your brethren you are not engaged in the worship service. The occasional bathroom break during a sermon is understandable; getting up every time tells the preacher you are not really “dialed in.” And by the way, the age to teach this to your children is the age they are right now. I got a drink the first time I ever sat away from my parents during worship. I was not allowed to leave their pew again for ten years. Message received, Dad.
Whatever time you shoot for, aim for five minutes earlier than that. Crawling in at the last minute (or later) tells your brethren you were not eager to spend time with them. It keeps you from bonding with your spiritual family. And it increases your likelihood of arriving late because of unforeseen circumstances.
Most of the points noted above apply here as well. The last table at the restaurant will almost certainly be available in ten minutes. And if you stick around, you may even find some brethren who will share it with you.
Listen to the announcements.
(Again, you have to arrive on time or early for this one.) I can’t tell you how many times brethren have pleaded ignorance of a circumstance that had been announced multiple times in their presence — even on the very day they complained that “Nobody told me!” We make announcements so the brethren can be informed of important considerations — events, injuries, illnesses, travel plans, and other bits of business that impact the lives of all of the members. If you don’t think the announcements are important, doesn’t that mean your brethren aren’t important either?
Ask after someone’s health.
Both the announcements and the bulletin give us multiple prayer opportunities. Inquiring about one’s health or the health of their loved one shows we (1) know about their circumstance, (2) care, and (3) have them in our prayers. All of those things are signs of brotherly love, which must abound in us (Hebrews 13:1). What does their absence signify?
Use your social media platform to light the world.
Plenty of brethren are eager to tell their friends and followers about their new hairstyle, or support their favorite ball team, or urge you to chuckle along with them at the latest meme. And there is nothing necessarily wrong with any of that. But if our friends in the world are more familiar with our political leanings or our tastes in food than they are with our faith, we are failing in our efforts to salt the earth (Matthew 5:13). There is simply no excuse for it. Sticking your toe in the water of personal evangelism is ridiculously easy on social media. Share or link to articles and other posts — mine or someone else’s. Post a daily Bible verse. Take a public stand for God. There are literally hundreds of ways.
Self-described “one-talent” Christians, take up arms! You can make a difference if you try!