This article was originally written in April of 2015 for Project Inspired, a website that encourages Christian teenage girls all over the world. Thank you for reading!
When I first found my home church, I wanted to be involved in everything 100 percent. I went to service on Sundays, had my small group meetings in the middle of the week, helped edit videos for the service, joined the dance team, volunteered my acting skills in the performing arts ministry and was about to join the choir. Is that calendar making your head spin or what?
Our overworked and overly busy society that takes pride in a full and color-coded calendar app has infiltrated the way we have church. It almost becomes more about the building than the body of Christ. Let’s make sure that our efforts of serving our Heavenly Father are balanced and coming from the right place.
God may be asking you to shift your priorities if:
- Family is on the back burner. There was a time when I could count on one hand how many occasions I had quality time with my family in the span of an entire month. I was “doing so much for God” at church and I figured they should understand that. Our family is our first ministry. We are there to pray for them, spend time with them, help them through difficult circumstances, etc. If we are nowhere to be found, we are missing out on a major opportunity to minister to them.
- You’re too busy for God. The Lord wants to speak to you through prayer and through His word. He misses the quiet time you have together when your schedule is too full of other activities. Running on empty without filling our God tank can lead to making poor choices and quenching our spiritual discernment. If we rely only on our own strength and wisdom, He doesn’t get to play a heavy role in our decision making.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)
- Other areas in your life are suffering for the sake of volunteer activities. I remember having a conversation after a leadership training class about where we were going to meet afterward. One of the young men piped up, “God wants me to go study, so I can’t go.” Someone else replied, “Oh man, you pulled the God card. Nobody’s going to argue with that.” We all laughed, but it’s true. When God tells you to do something, there is no room to say no. If you have to miss a church event for the sake of keeping your grades up, being there for a friend going through a tough breakup or just being rested for work the next morning, it’s okay.
- You are busy to gain favor from above. Faith without works is dead, but works alone will not get us into heaven. There is such a thing as doing too much for the sake of pleasing God, especially when your works are hindering your most important relationships. The space between the four walls and high ceiling you visit once or twice a week is not where He resides. If you’re trying to score more brownie points, your motives are coming from a selfish place instead of a servant’s heart.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
- You’ve forgotten that we are the church. Church happens when driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic. It also happens at the entrance to the grocery store when you pass a homeless person asking for food. Let’s not forget that in between living life, there are moments that God sets up for us where we can buy a homeless person a sandwich or remember to pray for someone while we’re stuck on the freeway. Let Him use you in and out of the church building because church is in session everywhere you go.
Gathering together to worship is of the utmost importance in the life of a Christian, but church shouldn’t be the only place we visit The Lord. I urge you, if you ever feel that nudge from the Holy Spirit telling you that God misses His alone time with you, you need to listen. I promise you won’t regret it. We can get severely sidetracked while trying to find the path to our purpose, and we don’t want to become weary in well doing when we’re not actually doing what He needs us to do.
Have you ever struggled with balancing your church involvement and your personal relationship with God?
Kytia L’amour is a writer, performer, and photographer spreading God’s love in all art forms. Reaching out to young women and sharing her story is what keeps her heart beating for Christ.
Kytia lives in sunny Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.