How’s your church doing? Since I’m on staff at my church, I’m well aware that churches which thrive and do well are those which have lots of involvement from the congregation. I’ve been proposing that we adopt the Boy Scout mantra to leave it better than you found it, and I was thinking about applying it to the following area of our lives:

Is your church better because you are a member?

It’s not difficult to find things wrong with our churches. They’re full of people—people who make mistakes, people who don’t have it all together, and many are new believers with lots to learn. As a result, we won’t have trouble finding something about our churches that we don’t like so much. But if it’s a Bible-preaching church and under godly leadership—and that’s where God has put us—then we have to ask ourselves what we’re doing to make it a better church.

I think of a woman who was in our church until God called her home—we called her Miss Shirley. Miss Shirley never held an office in our church, but few people have benefited the church like she did. For years she made it her job to greet someone new every Sunday and to invite that person to sit with her so she could get to know them and share God’s love with them.

One of my friends tells how when she started coming to our church, she was very wounded and was trying to isolate herself from everyone. However, Miss Shirley found her, sat with her, invited her to my Sunday class, and eventually helped her get involved and find healing. Miss Shirley definitely left our church better than she found it.

Ask yourself this question: If you dropped out of your church today, would it leave a hole? Would your service to the church be missed?

God created us for community. We are one body in Christ, and we need each other for fellowship, for healing, for growth, and for accountability. I hope you are very much committed to your church and you can say for sure that you are leaving it better than you found it.