One Sunday at church, my husband preached about the celebration as an important part of a Christian’s life. He said it was a discipline that, when practiced, can help develop us into mature Christians. At that point, he grabbed the microphone from the pulpit and said, “What is God doing in your life? Let’s share and celebrate together.” He waited for several minutes, and as he waited, he received one thing: silence. People were hesitant to share because the culture of the church emphasized silence and listening rather than talking and noise. Church should not only be a place for prayer and soul searching but a place to celebrate the ways God is speaking and moving in our lives.
If I’m honest, I have difficulty celebrating the good things in life. My tendency is to focus on the negatives instead of the positives, telling people what God isn’t doing rather what He is doing.
Tony Campolo, in his book The Kingdom of God is a Party says, “But the church is not supposed to be just any social movement. The church is supposed to be a living organism, a body of believers endowed with a heavenly dynamism, it is supposed to be the living body of Christ. Something has gotten lost. Something has died. Something that was hot has become lukewarm. Something that is essential has to be renewed.” 1
Do you celebrate with others when God does something good in your life? If we are not celebrating others’ accomplishments, how can we breathe life into the body of Christ?
The church is a place to bear each other’s burdens and allow God to work deep within our souls. But it should also be a place where we as brothers and sisters celebrate the good things God is doing as well. Life is full of miracles. God is always with us and at work in our lives. If you challenged yourself to write down every time you saw God working in your life, you could fill an entire notebook. It’s important to celebrate all of the ways (big and small) that God revealed Himself to you or the people you know.
Here are three ways you can celebrate at your next church service:
Share– is there someone (or a group of people) at your church with whom you can share your blessings and accomplishments? Allow them to have you over for dinner or take you out to celebrate. Make time in your weekly service to allow congregation members to share what God is doing in their lives. It will encourage those going through a difficult time and help them to become more aware of the ways in which God is working.
Model- In the same way others celebrate with you, spend some time celebrating with others. To do this, you must be aware of what is going on with the people within your congregation. Ask others how their life is going. Remember what they said and follow up with them the following week. Show you care and people will open up to you.
Pray- Ask the people in your congregation for specific prayer requests and pray diligently for those requests. When a prayer gets answered, reciprocate by sending a gift or card or take them out to celebrate how God is moving.
Church can be a boring place, or it can be a place where we as God’s children can celebrate all the good things God is doing, even when under difficult circumstances. Will you choose to party with your brothers and sisters in Christ?
- Campolo, Tony. The Kingdom of God Is a Party. (Dallas: Word Publishing, 1990.) p.68.
Michelle S. Lazurek is an award-winning author, speaker, pastor’s wife and mother. She has been published over one hundred times in places such as Charisma Magazine, crosswalk.com and Christianity Today’s website Gifted For Leadership. She also teaches writers’ workshops for various places such as the Montrose Christian Writers conference. She is a member of the Christian Author’s Network and Advanced Writers’ and speakers Association. Her newest book, An Invitation to the Table explores the biblical concept of hospitality. For more info, please visit her website at www.michellelazurek.com