Far too often, we are guilty of comparing ourselves with ourselves. We look at other members of the church and say, "I cannot do what ________ does. I do not have the talent he/she does. What can I possibly do to help the church grow?" As we look at Paul's opening remarks in Romans, we can see some tips. Inspired by God, Paul shares with us some ways we all can help the church to grow:
I Can PRAY For The Church (1:8-9). Paul gave thanks for their commitment and example. Paul wanted people to live the message of God. The Romans were and he was thankful. Instead of gossiping and running down others, we can pray for the church and offer thanks for faithfully obedient congregations.
I Can DESIRE TO BE With The Church (1:10). Paul wanted to be with the church in Rome so badly that he prayed to God very often that God would allow it. When we have that same strong desire, instead of looking for excuses and making other plans, we can make our presence at the assemblies a priority.
I Can GIVE WHAT WE HAVE To The Church (1:11). Paul wanted to impart to them spiritual gifts to help establish them. While the days of such have passed, we still have gifts and talents. Whatever they are, we can be willing to use them for the growth of the congregation and for the glory of God.
I Can ENCOURAGE The Church (1:12). Paul wanted to be with them also so that he could be encouraged and he could encourage them. Instead of nitpicking and tearing down, we can look for opportunities to encourage our church family, through what we say, cards, calls and actions.
I Can BEAR FRUIT In The Church (1:13). We often think of bearing fruit as converting others. Paul recognized there is also fruit we bear among Christians. Instead of thinking there is only one fruit we can produce, we can shower the brethren with the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, kindness, etc.
Instead of focusing on what we cannot do, let's look for things we CAN do, and there are things we can all do! Paul gives us only a few examples of things that not only you CAN do for the church to help her grow, but also these are things the church NEEDS you to be doing!