Today your Dad preached on the Body of Christ. I have been thinking of you and how important it is, at this time of life particularly, to belong and commit to a local church.
The local church represents the body of Christ and all Christians should belong to a church. We, individually, with our own special giftings, make up the body. Some giftings are very visible (like preaching) while others not so much (like cleaning the toilets) but we all have a place in the church. We all have something we can bring to enrich other peoples lives within the church community. We all have some act of service God has called us to do.
Before you settle into ‘the rest of your life’, it can feel like a very transient time in your life. When you are not sure where home is, and everything is very temporary. It can be a time when it can often be too easy to cruise when it comes to church attendance. Visiting here or there as the mood takes you. Not being accountable to anyone and never in a place long enough so that people will miss you if you don’t turn up. Being a bit busy with study to go to a service.
Resist this and make it a habit to meet regularly with a local church.
Many young people say, “but no-one talks to me.” Usually they haven’t gotten off their butts, in the back row, and talked to anyone either. Talk to people. Introduce yourself, be interested in other people. Look for people sitting/standing on their own. Often people are too shy or feel inadequate themselves or don’t know how to start a conversation. Ok, some people are hard work. You can still have short, chatty conversations with such people. I call them the short, often and sweet types. Others, you’ll get their whole life story and wonder how on earth you are going to get out of there alive. Some will offer you dinner (always welcome if you are a student I am sure) but most will not. Some will give you the cold shoulder but most will not. Persevere. Be friendly. Smile. A LOT. Talk to the old people. They often complain that no-one talks to them either. And, usually, they have had really interesting lives. And everyone appreciates a smile.
Find ways to serve others. Offer to be on the coffee roster (a great way to meet everyone in the church), offer to babysit for a young family, offer to tutor high school students in whatever? Offer to clean the toilets. Everyone is happy not to do that job. If you see something that needs doing, do it. Like opening the door for a small child. Helping an oldie with their coffee or hymn book. Picking up the left-behind bulletins after church. Be hospitable, as far as your student income will allow. You already know how to make a fantastic pizza and a good cup of coffee. God will bless you as you serve others.
Commit to a local church. Be an active part of church life. Even if during exams when you don’t have much time, pray for the church and the individuals in it. Ask others to pray for you too. Help them to share your burdens as you look for ways to carry their loads.
Pray that the Lord will give you strength and wisdom in this.
I continue to pray for the Lord’s strength and guidance for you.