When my children were little I used to worry that something would happen to me while we were alone and no one would find my children and save them. When I became a single mom, this was even more important to me.
I didn’t worry in a way that it kept me awake at night, but it did prompt me to try to make a plan.
As Christians we are all supposed to look out to each other. I was not in a church regularly at the time, so I really had no one. But many churches, I have found, don’t have anything in place to help us “keep” each other.
I would love to see churches sponsor programs where members could “buddy up” and help each other. When your buddy didn’t show up for church one morning, it would be your job to call and check on them (it has been my experience that pastors are just too busy to do this).
You could encourage each other, discuss your growth and be there to watch out for each other.
It would be nice if a mature Christian could be paired with a new one, sort of like a mentoring program. But that might need to be something different.
After I was Baptized, I had very few women with whom I could talk to about the changes that God was making in me. I just blindly obeyed without knowing why when He wanted me, as a woman to dress like a women, to do away with my make-up and other things. Before, I always thought I would hate making those changes if God called me to them. In fact, I was certain of it. But when the time came and He called me, I did not hesitate and it did not bother me one bit.
However, I really didn’t have anyone to talk to about it. There were only a couple of mature Christian women around me who lived this same way. I wanted scriptural references, to know what God says about all this. So I was left to search the internet for answers. Not the best place for spiritual advice. Some of the things that come up when you search for Pentecostal Women is horrible! But I found answers, little by little and am still searching, still asking.
The point here is to get people talking together and working together and looking out for each other.
There could even be teams where several people watched out for each other. They could do ministry activities together, outreach activities and Bible studies. It is easier to go out and get people for the church if you are with someone rather than just being alone.
And if something did happen, someone would know rather quickly.
I would also love to see churches implement a cascade system for disasters such as hurricanes, terrorist attacks, earthquakes, etc. Even if the congregation was divided into several “teams” and the leads initiated the cascade system for their respective team then reported to a main lead, that would at least ensure that all members were accounted for and safe. Of course, anyone who did not want to participate could opt out.
But it would be nice to have.
If you aren’t familiar with the cascade system, the lead calls the first person on the list and that person calls the next one and so on until the last person calls the lead. This way, everyone is accounted for because someone talked to them personally.
Automated systems are great for relaying prayer requests and vital church information, but when you want to make sure someone is OK, you simply have to speak to them in person.
As brothers and sisters in Christ, we should be reaching out and supporting each other. True, people have their own lives, but Jesus wants us to reach out to others and help each other. When someone walks into your church and they don’t know God, never been in a church environment, what do they see?
Do they see people who are truly a family, helping each other and working together with a main focus of saving souls?
Or do they see people off in little groups or cliques with people lined against the wall completely disengaged?
If we foster an environment of family and treat every single member as a part of our family, then when people come in they will feel that family vibe. There is nothing wrong with talking to just one person for a bit that is normal. But when people are ignored the entire time they are there, well, that is wrong.
But whose job it is to reach out to them? To engage them? Is it the pastor’s? The welcoming committee? Yes, but only in part.
Actually it is the job of every single member of the church to ensure everyone is engaged. It is the job of every single member to check in with other members. We all should be doing this, me, you, all of us.
The system I described just keeps it organized.
We really are our brother’s (or sister’s) keeper.