What Is The Best Gift You Can Offer Your New Church?
Over the last several years, we have seen a massive amount of people moving in the United States! Folks that have lived in cities for forty, fifty, or even sixty years are packing up their belongings, loading up their cars, and heading for "greener pastures”. Even young people are wondering, “Why am I staying here?" We see even young individuals or families load up their cars, packed to the brim and filled with coffee, to head out towards new frontiers. Young and old have made the move, not fully knowing where the wind would carry them. This is the story of our family [the Seilers, founders of The Authentic Movement], and it may have happened to you too. Even if this isn’t your story, hear me out.
My family [the Seilers] moved to this new territory on the other side of the United States, and God clearly spoke to me [James Seiler] about planting a church in this area. As I share this information with others, I have received this question over and over again: "What can I do to help your new church?" At first, my answer to this question was standard, but as I continued to be asked what I needed help with, I stopped to consider how I should respond. This is when I considered what is the best gift that we can give to our new church.
No matter what has carried you to a new area or caused you to move on, many of the people in this hour has chosen to attend a new church, which is awesome! I have heard amazing stories from individuals or families that are blessed to find a new church family. However, I have also encountered many people that have made the move and haven't found a new church home. They can't seem to fit in, find what they are looking for, or connect to those around them. Either way, I want to encourage you to consider why you have chosen the church you now attend or are planning on attending. I pray that you ask the Lord to show you where He wants you to plant your roots, instead of what feels good or meets all of your needs. Truly, I hope you asked the right questions. If not, you will be asking the same question a year from now.
For most, they think the best gift they can offer their new church would be their talents or abilities. These gifts are important, and we appreciate who you are and what you can offer to the ministry. People often think the best gift they can offer their new church is their giving. Although your giving does help us as we advance the cause of Christ, it is not the best gift that you can give to your new church. Lastly, churchgoers think that the best gift they can give to their new church is consistent attendance, which is still not the greatest gift.
However, the best gift that you can offer to your new church is very clear when you think about it: a heart that is free from clutter, pain and frustration and is truly free to follow the Lord. Too often, I have met people that showed up to church, carrying all kinds of baggage. It takes immense time, effort, and energy to help them navigate through the past. As a Pastor, I don’t mind putting in the energy towards helping people in this manner, but it is draining for me personally. Today, I pray that you fully comprehend how important it is to go before the Lord and deal with what is going on in your heart. Let Him clean out all that plaques you today, so that you are ready to shake hands with your new Pastor and say nice to meet you. I would hate for you to shake his/her hand and not mean it because you are carrying baggage from your last stop on the journey and you already possess a bias towards them.
If you need help in this area, please reach out. I would be honored to give you some thoughts on how to get free or where you can go to get free. You can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.