Church Life Fellowship Life Issues Spiritual Gifts

Opportunities in Care

14 May 2023

Knowing we’re a family

Loneliness remains a very real problem in modern society, despite technology enabling us to be more connected. According to The Campaign to End Loneliness 1, ‘A survey by Action for Children found that 43% of 17 – 25 year olds…had experienced problems with loneliness’ (Nov 2017) and Age UK2 reported that ‘half a million older people go at least five or six days a week without seeing or speaking to anyone at all’ (Age UK 2016). As with all suffering in our broken world, Christians are not exempt from feeling lonely and isolated. In Matthew chapter 12, we find an important message. Having been told that his mother and brothers were waiting outside, Jesus pointed to his disciples and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother” (Matthew 12:46-50).We are called a ‘family of believers’ when we serve together in Churches of God (Galatians 6:10 NIV) and furthermore in 1 Corinthians 12:26, talking about the spiritual body of Christ, we read that ‘if one part suffers, every part suffers with it.

As with all suffering in our broken world, Christians are not exempt from feeling lonely and isolated… so what does this mean for us in our churches?

So, what does this mean for us in our churches? Firstly, if we are to view each other as family members, we should actively seek opportunities to care and support each other in the same way that we might do with our own families. Ideally, no one in a Church of God should have to feel lonely and we can mitigate this in lots of ways: creating opportunities to spend time with people, taking time to talk to each other to find out what is going on in their lives, and making sure we all feel included. By spending more time with each other, outside of assembly meetings, we are more likely to be aware of when something is wrong and can care and support each other more effectively.

Care in action

A little over twelve months ago, I was having building work done in my house and suddenly the builder was unable to finish the work. I found myself wondering how I was going to cope and get everything sorted out. It was during this time I saw very clearly how your church family pulls together to help. One day I came home from work to find that a couple from my assembly had come to the house, cleaned it thoroughly, rebuilt furniture that had been dismantled for the work, and covered concrete floors with dust sheets to make it more cheerful and homely again. Other families invited me into their homes, fed me regularly, let me live with them while my kitchen was being fitted, helped move furniture around and painted my lounge. Through this experience, God showed me that I was not alone. That I had a family of people willing to care for me. 

Caring for our church family doesn’t have to mean big things. Even in small ways, we can serve God by doing good to all people, especially to those who belong to the ‘family of believers’. (Galatians 6:10 NIV)

Judith Hickling, Church of God in Birmingham

1 Comment

  • Reply
    Graham Schleyer
    22 May 2023 at 14:11

    I very much enjoyed Judith’s article on ‘Opportunities in care’, the practical demonstration of our faith and love for one another in churches of God. Thanks Judith.

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