“9 Let us not become weaey in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” -Galatians 6:9
As a Parish Priest, I can tell you that I would always like to find a way, or for God to tell me, how to do something that causes people to be lined up outside of our Church doors, just waiting to flood in. Wouldn’t we all love to see the kingdom grow in such a way? Well my friends, it just isn’t that easy. What I can tell you is the secret formula, not for drawing hundreds of thousands, but here it goes….Ready?…….It’s one soul at a time. Now, it cannot rest all in the hands of the Priest or Pastor. No, it truly takes disciples to make disciples. From the music team to the Deacon, the laity and the Priest. It takes everyone being open to God using us all to raise the roof on the Church.
So what can you do to help the growth of, not only the Church you attend, but the growth of the overall Kingdom? First, grow where you are planted. Start at work or your social circles. If you don’t work anymore, try the folks in your coffee club or wherever you find yourself throughout the week. It doesn’t take much to get the conversation started. Try “Do you and your wife attend Church anywhere?”.
Second, get together with a group in your Church and plan a way to reach out to those in need. If your Church is not doing any outreach to the community around it, be the spark that motivates them to do so. Please, don’t just go in and complain that more outreach needs to be done around here, have a few ideas in your back pocket. Reaching out to the community doesn’t take reinventing the wheel. Start by supporting a local shelter by filling some or all of their current needs. Get the young people involved. Most of them have no idea about what my buddy Bruce likes to call “The gift of desperation”. Teach them and let them be involved.
Third, and most important, pray about it and don’t give up. God constantly presents ways that we can be his hands and feet, but, if you think He is asking too much and you can’t do it, then you are putting God in a small box. Remember, nothing is impossible with God. Say yes, when you can help, and God will bless you in ways you will never see coming. Whatever you do, don’t give up.
God bless you
Father Jason Bowden