Church services are the backbone of most churches today. A Sunday morning service is the normal minimum and many churches also have either a Sunday evening or Mid-Week service, sometimes both. This is usually has music and singing of some form of teaching from the pastor or another teacher. The teaching part can have a wide range from droll plodding sermon to a much more interactive flow with activities that can make some uncomfortable.
[Act 2:46 NKJV] 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,
The Early Christian Church set the standard for something that is often missing from modern churches. A few people make connections through regular church services, but few end up making the regular connections noted in this Scripture.
The ones in this Early Church were starting out something new, but the principle still applies today. Few churches have anything that comes even close to this. A part of the service may include greeting others in the service, but that doesn’t really make connections that last beyond that brief time. A single handshake or “holy hug” doesn’t make connections on its own.
A fellowship time of some sort, where smaller groups get together also may happen, but these are often only once or twice a month. These often feature a token teaching of some type, but usually lack time for full connect for those participating.
Most churches have some outreach to the unfortunate, both in the church and outside the church. This often takes the form of a food pantry or some form of financial assistance for specific emergencies. Some of them may be others in the church, but such efforts are also unlikely to make connections.
It is quite ironic in light of this that most churches will generally do little to help those struggling in emotional and sometimes spiritual areas. They may refer people to a counselor, but they will rarely do much beyond church services. They seem to expect those in the congregation to get better all on their own.
Some people make work through their problems alone, with help from the Scriptures and God, of course, but God put us into groups so we could support each others, not so we could be a group of singles.
Getting and Giving Support
Pastors and others in churches need to really work in this area.
[Jhn 10:11 NKJV] 11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.
The Good Shepherd cares for the sheep. Pastors should definitely do the same.
[Jhn 10:12-13 NKJV] 12 “But a hireling, [he who is] not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. 13 “The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep.
Far too many pastors act like a hireling, because they limit what they do to to services and perhaps some limited interaction during office hours at the church. This has some merit, since a pastor or other church leader can easily be pulled in many different directions if he is not careful, but using that excuse to justify ignoring the need for strong emotional and spiritual healing in the congregation.
Keep in mind that the pastor or church leaders don’t have to personally head up the effort to help those in need. They do have to do all the work themselves, they just need to provide the framework for such interaction. Telling those involved to go to an outside counselor or just ignoring them outside of services is not sufficient or even appropriate to their leadership role.
Setting a good support framework up can make providing this kind of support much easier and meet the needs much more effectively. Forming a group of godly and spiritual men to help men going through troubled times. A similar group of godly and spiritual women should be prepared to help women going through similar struggles. Both groups could use solid training to properly respond to the situations they are likely to face, but they can do much good even being available to spend time and listen to those going through such tough times.
Taking a Personal Role
You may just be a member or participant at a local church, but you can be helpful in this area even if you are not in a leadership role. Reach out to those facing such challenges. Be willing to listen to them or even invite them out to eat after a Sunday morning service. Sending texts every few days to see how they are doing can also be very helpful. I am sure God can give anyone willing to help out some good ideas for other ways to really help those in need.
The church should actively enable such efforts, but don’t wait for the church to do what it should be doing. Do what you can and maybe the church will see it and put something more formal in place. Either way the personal efforts will help out at least some people who need it and therefore have great value.