|Why You Feel Disconnected From Your Church
By Greg Sanders
One of the conversations I have with people regarding church is their trouble feeling connected to a local body of believers. I have had the conversation with people in my church and with other parishioners regarding their own churches. One thing that I have discovered is that in the very church where people feel disconnected, that local church is actually being very intentional about reaching out and including people. Most churches that I am associated with are very intentional about offering multiple avenues to promote, invite, and even urge people to become connected. If the church is doing even a marginal job at offering connection, why do so many feel disconnected?
I believe Jesus gives us the answer. In Matthew 6:21 Jesus says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Jesus teaches an important principle. Our heart follows our investment. How does that correlate with feeling connected to a church? It is unrealistic to think that you are going to be connected to someone or something in which you have made little or no investment. Please hear this Biblical principle that Jesus makes: Connection follows investment.
When I first started dating my wife, I began investing in her. I invested financially by taking her to dinner. I invested time by taking her to movies and hanging out with her. I invested effort by going out of my way to make her feel valued. In a very short time I went from being attracted to her to being extremely connected to her because I followed up my attraction with investment.
Many church attenders show up at a church the first few times because they are attracted to it. They are attracted to the worship, the programs, or perhaps even the pastor. But this attraction eventually wanes unless real investment is made. This is true with human relationships and it is true with the church as well. If you want to rekindle your connection to your church then you must do some investing in her once again. Remember, connection follows investment.
How can I invest in my local church?
- Invest in your local church with prayer. Pray for your pastor. Pray for your church staff and leaders. Pray that your local church will fulfill its mission in your community. Prayer is an investment and connections follow investment.
- Invest time. Attend and participate in local church life. It is hard to connect when you arrive five minutes after the service starts and exit five minutes before it concludes. Join a small group or attend Sunday school. It is in those smaller settings that connections go deep. You may not feel like joining one of these groups but connection follows investment.
- Invest money. Pay your tithe and give towards the mission endeavors of the church. Someone once said, “If you want to know what you really value then evaluate your checkbook.” You will find in your ledger what is really important to you. Your heart always follows your treasure so use your treasure to lead your heart back to the right place. Connection follows investment.
- Invest effort. The church was never meant to be a spectator activity. The players on the field are way more connected to the coach than the fans in the stands. Don’t settle for being an observer. Get involved in the work of God through your local church. One of the best ways to connect to people is by serving along side of them. Connection follows investment.
Today’s Challenge: Realize that God loves His church. He loves the church so much that He gave His life for her. He wants you connected to her. Evaluate which of these investments you need to make immediately. Solidify your connection to your church by investing in her this week. Remember that connection follows investment.
For more devotional material or information check out my webpage: www.pastorgregsanders.com