My 11-year-old son, Asher, and I were talking about what he might do when he grows up. Like many 11-year-olds, a famous football player was high on his list! Other options included a carpenter, like his dad, or a professional gamer (I don’t think so, buddy)! He then asked me to explain what I do, which people often ask when I tell them I work at a church. I started to give him a brief overview; I help to organise Sunday services, I organise events for Oasis Women, I write emails and articles, and I visit people to chat with them or pray with them. At this point, he interrupted me: “Wait, you actually get to go to people’s home and visit them as part of your job!? That’s the best job ever!”
I agree with him. I cherish the opportunity to visit people and pray with them. It doesn’t feel like a ‘job’, that’s for sure. In fact, you and I both know that visiting and caring for people in the church family is a role for each and everyone of us.
It really is a joy and privilege to visit people. To pray with them. To hear about their life with Jesus. To encourage them. To weep with them or rejoice with them (Romans 12:15). One of our three priorities at Oasis is ‘Life together’, which is life lived in community with the people of God. What does that look like for each of us? Well, our capacity and giftings are different, so it’ll look a bit different for everyone. Nevertheless, it’s should be a priority for all of us. For some of us it will include physically visiting people to be with them and pray for them. It might be writing notes or emails to encourage others. A phone call to check in. Organising a picnic for the church family to attend. Starting a running group with church friends. And of course, we can all pray for one another.
I’ll admit, it requires vulnerability and an investment of time. But doing life together is an incredibly important part of belonging to the church family. Romans 12:10-13 says, ‘Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practise hospitality.’
My encouragement to all of us is to continue to (or perhaps start to) make this a priority in your life so that our church family will know God’s love through our devotion to one another. Whether you’re a socialite like my Asher or more reserved, take a prayerful moment to consider how you can devote yourself to life together.