In an interview in the March 2018 Christianity Today, author and pastor Dominique Dubois Gilliard says, “It’s crucial to find the heartbeat of your church. Your church might have a heart for education. Or caring for children orphaned by the incarceration of a mother or father“ (p. 67).
I have seen this play out in the churches in which I have been a member. One program that may work in one parish will not work in another precisely because that is not where the heartbeat of that church lies.
I know churches in my community who minister to the deaf and have a sign language interpreter in worship. Another church has a minister for families with children with special needs, and makes activities available that cater to those families. International students meet for a Bible study at another church in the area.
Each of these is an example of how a church found their heartbeat and did something to keep that beat going.
So much in the church is about “the things we have always done.” But it is important to always take a step back and think about “the things we should be doing.” It is never too late to start a new program to tap into an energy and excitement among your people for a certain ministry.
In the self-help industry these days, there is a push for people to “find their passion.” The same can be said for our churches. Finding your passion as a congregation is important because focusing on that passion can build community and grow faith. People who are passionate about something get to work and are happy to be there. Isn’t that the type of people we want within our parishes?
Think about opportunities within your parish that you are sensing that people have heart and a passion for. Then keep that heartbeat going by offering more opportunities to serve in that area. The heart of God will be revealed in the process.