When I was a section editor of my college newspaper, our new editor-in-chief told us at the beginning of the year, “I don’t think parties or retreats or kum-ba-yah feelings make us feel like we’re connected; putting out a good paper together does.” And that’s what we did that year. There used to be stacks of unread papers left at the end of each day, but as the semester wore on, professors would have to clear their throats multiple times to get students to put their papers down. By midday, you’d have to pick up a used paper if you didn’t already have one. Those of us on staff were so excited to be a part of something powerful that we worked even harder to get the important stories our readers (we had readers!) needed. We didn’t have to have newspaper staff pizza parties to feel like we were a team; we were eating pizza together because we couldn’t stop talking about what stories we were working on, and how we could make them work.
Being part of something that’s growing and important is a great feeling, almost like a high you can’t get enough of. Christians today sometimes think we’ll get that feeling from having social events for our members, “secret sister” programs, or retreats, but the truth is that every single member of the church will be truly “plugged in” when the church is doing what it is supposed to do: working together to save souls. When the members feel that energy and vitality, they will all push themselves to their limits to keep it going.
The brand-new church of Christ described in Acts 2 was like this: they shared meals, possessions, and prayer with “glad and generous hearts” (Acts 2:46). They all knew they were part of something special, as God added souls to the church daily. Even though we’re not in that exciting building phase of the church, we can still experience that same fulfillment and joy to be a Christian. But we’re just girls, you might say. How can I make over my church into something powerful and essential in my community?
Make yourself powerful and essential first. Push yourself to your limits; go over the top. Express kindness you haven’t seen expressed before. Say something about Jesus in a class discussion. Let God infiltrate every part of your life—mind, body, soul, and strength—and you’ll start to see the results that get your blood pumping.
Everyone has a part to play, and it’s essential that we step into the role God made specifically for us. Ever heard an actor say, “I was born to play this role.” Guess what? You were born to do good works God prepared for you (Eph. 2:10). He made you how you are and placed you exactly where you are with the experiences you’ve had so that you can save souls. The tough things you’ve gone through, your weird family, your academic strengths and weaknesses, your spiritual strengths and weaknesses: these are all tools you can use to show God’s glory and to save souls.
You are already part of something huge and essential: the body of Christ. If you don’t feel very important, maybe you’re not doing your job. Maybe you’re just hanging out, waiting for someone to tell you what to do. This is someone telling you what to do: Do your good works. That’s what connects you to the body and fills your soul with joy.