And she’s right. When our churches turn inward and focus on “inside activities,” like fundraisers and social hour and Bible studies, to the exclusion of those things that lead us out of the church, like community work, or missions work, then the church is stagnating. At one church I served, I knew we were in trouble when we could get lots of turnout for the annual Fall Festival fundraiser, but no volunteers for the CROP Walk for Hunger.
I’d like to see us move beyond the GLBT community as well, and work on a Habitat for Humanity house, or donate regularly to one of the food pantries in town, or work with one of the soup kitchens. That’s further down the road, but I think it’s the next step.
Worship services are important—they remind us of who we are and whose we are. But without the work, without the service, our worship is empty. We say to God, “we love you and praise you.” God says, “Show me.” Remember the great commandment: “As you have done it for the least of these my brothers and sisters, so you have done it for me.” Worship is part of our love and praise of God, a way to take time and remind ourselves of what we are about each week; but service is the heart of it.