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How I Learned to Thrive at Church

church building

I love the local church. I’ve spent half of my life in a church building between growing up as a pastor’s kid and working in the church. Basically, I’m a self-proclaimed church expert.

I could tell you hilarious, roll-on-the-floor-laughing stories about old ladies with bathroom issues and baptisms gone awry. I can also tell you heartbreaking stories about the hard and hurtful times for me and my family. I’ve seen it all, and I love it in spite of the hard times.

I don’t know what thoughts the word church brings to your mind. Maybe you love it. Or maybe you have hard church stories that you could share too. I’m sorry, friend. I won't pretend that it's easy to move past hurtful church situations, but I will tell you this: That is not how God intended church to be.

I may not know your exact story, but here’s how I’ve learned to thrive at church.

Keep Your Focus on Jesus

It has to be about Jesus.

Let me repeat that a little louder this time.


People in your church will let you down. Even the pastor will probably let you down at some point. We are all human, and we can’t elevate people to Jesus’ level. I wrote an entire chapter in my book about looking to people instead of Jesus. Don’t do it!

I’ve been guilty of allowing others to persuade my thinking towards how I view Jesus and how He is leading me. It always leaves me empty and heartbroken in the end.

We have to show up at church fixing our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2).

You will thrive when you focus on Jesus.

Use Your Gifts

God has given all of us unique spiritual gifts to use at church (1 Peter 4:10). Some of us are singers. Some of us were made to work with kids or teenagers. Some of us love to mow the lawn or clean the church. I love that none of us have the same gifts and that God uses it all.

We can use these gifts to serve the people that walk through the doors at our church. There is something about serving that strips away any selfish desires inside of us. It keeps us involved. Our desire and commitment to use our gifts glorifies God.

Keep it simple too. I’m all about simple!

Don’t try to do everything. If you do things outside of your gifts, you will burn out. It won’t last. If we all use our gifts, the church will lack nothing. Doesn’t that sound amazing?