I love being a part of the Church and all that God is doing in and through His people on the earth. With my role as a pastor in Hillsong Creative, I attend a lot of church services and conferences.
One thing I’ve noticed, especially at some church events and conferences, is that most people play it safe. They’re more reserved and more self-conscious than they normally would be. Few approach every aspect of these gatherings, at least to begin with, with confidence and enthusiasm.
Some turn up to church ready to go. They're enthusiastic. They’re not even thinking about how others perceive them, or what others think. It’s all about Jesus, and what He would have them learn and do.
Other people arrive with the complete opposite outlook. They show up, but in reality their minds are not focused on giving and receiving from God. They’re caught up in distraction and self-focus.
I know which of these people I would like to be!
I am nowhere near perfect, but my aim is to be intentional about my attendance at church. My aim is to be fully present from the start – undistracted – and with my complete attention on all God is doing, and all He has for those attending, right through to the end of the service. My hope is that I allow God to speak to me and make me aware of the things I need to grow in and change.
There are great reasons for coming to church this way. So here are three benefits of being enthusiastic in church:
1. You help bring out the best in other people.
When you're confident in who God has created you, and you're comfortable expressing that confidence in any gathering of the Church, it has a tangible impact on others. When you’re open, warm, and friendly, it helps those around you to be the same. It even helps increase and encourage faith. This goes especially for the preaching and worship. Your enthusiasm during those portions of the meeting encourage the preacher or worship leader, to speak with courage and conviction, or lead with confidence and authority. In turn, this helps everyone present to be built up and inspired in faith. By simply giving your best you can help others and allow them to grow and be enriched.
2. You gain more from the experience.
It’s incredible what an attitude of openness and receptivity can do. When you’re fully engaged, leaning in, and attentive, you take more in and remember more. It’s impossible to gain all that God has for you when you’re distracted, or thinking about all the other things going on in your life. But, by choosing to worship God with extravagance, to listen to all that’s said with open ears, and to participate in every way with enthusiasm, you will take away so much more than you will by being half-hearted and noncommittal.
3. You can create a platform for change.
If we’re honest we all find change difficult. Working on our shortcomings and improving ourselves is impossible without careful attention. When you decide to open yourself to ALL God would want you to learn, to change and aspire to, you create the perfect platform for Him to bring real and lasting transformation into your life.
Imagine your life being changed for eternity, simply by choosing to be receptive to all God is trying to say to you while attending church.
What an incredible thought to contemplate!
As you attend church this weekend, or as you go to Hillsong Conferences in a couple of weeks, my encouragement to you is to allow God to use you to bless others. Be completely open to what He wants to teach you. Also, intentionally take away all you can every time the people of God gather whether that is in a small group, youth meeting, or church. You’re sure to witness God transform the lives of others and do the same in your life too.
Over to you…