Going to church is an incredible way to grow spiritually, strengthen your faith, meet friends, and build community. Going to church can also become a duty or something we do to check something off of our list. The first option sounds like a much more enjoyable experience, but I believe it requires a bit more work than just sitting in a pew for an hour and then going home. We enjoy things so much more when we know we’ve invested in them! Here are six ways that teens (or parents!) can get involved at church!
Invite someone to sit with you
Sometimes church can feel like it comes with assigned seating. While that makes choosing your seat a bit easier, it may make things awkward for a visitor or someone who is more introverted. Look for someone who is outside of your normal friend group and ask them if they’d like to sit with you! Many people, especially teens and young adults will lose interest in attending somewhere if they feel like they don’t belong or don’t have friends. Be the reason someone is excited about being at church!
Ask if you can clean
We take care of the things we love. Ask someone if you can clean or straighten up an area of the church after it’s been used. Maybe that’s simply straightening hymn books or vacuuming up crumbs that were left from the donuts and coffee from earlier that morning. This small act may bless someone more than you know. Does the same person always do the cleaning? Help lighten their load and take responsibility for keeping your church building looking sharp!
Say thank you
Pay attention to people who put work in around the building and during church services. Let them know that you appreciate the work they do! The musicians have practiced for hours, and the Sunday school teachers studied until late last night. Someone got there early to vacuum rugs and to make coffee. Let those people know that you noticed and that you are grateful for the time they invest to make your church experience enjoyable.
Going somewhere you’ve never been before can be scary, and churches can be especially intimidating. A visitor may not know where restrooms are or which building is the “fellowship hall.” Be the friendly face that welcomes them, asks about them, and shows them around. Maybe ask them to sit with you! (Remember, we talked about that earlier!)
Participate in the service
An underrated, but important thing to do at church is to actually participate. Instead of just listening, try turning to the passages mentioned from the pulpit. Consider taking notes! Try to sing along even if you don’t know all of the words! When activities are announced for your age group, do your best to be there! If you listen and participate on purpose, you will gain so much more from your time at church than if you just show up, check the box, and leave.
Talk about what you learned
Did you learn something during the sermon or in your small group? Bring it up afterward with your friends and parents! Maybe some of the song lyrics really stood out to you in a way that you had never thought of before. Tell someone or journal about it! We learn things more permanently when we discuss them with others. We should go to church looking for ways to grow and be encouraged spiritually. Help normalize that by talking with others about what you’re learning.
There are many other ways to be involved at church. You could ask to help in a children’s class, or volunteer for special meetings. Make meals for families in your church or ask if they have any special prayer requests. Let us know if you have ideas to add to this list or other ways that you volunteer! We love hearing from you!
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