THE CHURCH AS A First- aid STATION
Churches are frequently referred to as houses of worship and truly this should be one of its vital functions we as believers, need to gather to praise and worship our Creator. Most churches have fulfilled this function and also serve as “first-aid centers” where members can gather to receive help and consolation for their social and/or spiritual ills. In order to serve in this capacity church member must be willing to actively assist in this ministry as it is not solely the pastor’s job.
Most of us are aware that the early churches met in the homes of fellow believers so they were ideally suited to fulfill the first-aid role. Although the word church appears around 75 times in the Bible, it is a translation of the Greek word, “ecclesia” which literally means, “those called out” or “called out ones”. Being this function is frequently ignored in many modern-day churches and consequently, members are content to sit passively in the pews, listen to the sermon and quickly head for the exit. Being involved in being” called out” is often overlooked and therefore the assisting of their brothers and sisters in Christ to cope with their numerous concerns is neglected. It is easy to forget that there are those among us who are lonely or may just need to talk to someone.
Some churches schedule a “coffee or social hour” either before or after the service designed to offer opportunities for members and visitors to connect with one another and share feelings and concerns. A key ingredient to the intermixing is to make sure each member is included in these gatherings. This does NOT automatically happen. Roving “ambassadors” must be appointed to assist in this endeavor.
When this atmosphere is developed, the church becomes a place where we are “called out” and serves as an active first-aid station. Church members need not become amateur psychologists to facilitate this goal but rather be willing to serve as caring people who are open to listening and recognizing each person is a child of God. As we do this we will find that we are not only givers of the love that Christ intended but as we serve Him, love will be returned to us in abundance.