10 Ways to Reignite Your Love for the Church

Having been in ministry for over 30 years, I understand. The church is sometimes not easy to love. People claim to be Christian but act like the devil. We say the words, “I love the church” while knowing our heart isn’t there. When you’ve had enough bad days in ministry, love for the church seems to disappear completely. Still, though, we’re called to love one another (John 15:12). Here are some ways to begin reigniting that love:

  1. Read 1 Corinthians. In 1 Cor. 1:4 Paul wrote, “I always thank my God for you” (HCSB). In the last verse of that book, he wrote, “My love be with all of you in Christ Jesus.” In between these sections, however, the apostle essentially said, “You’re an absolute mess.” Paul thanked God for and deeply loved one of the messiest churches in the New Testament. That’s a good model for us to follow.
  2. Read the Gospel of Mark to see the portrayal of Jesus’ disciples. They were untrained and uneducated men who often did not listen, seldom fully understood, and sometimes failed miserably. Meanwhile, they debated who was the greatest and fought over the best seats in the kingdom. Still Jesus loved them – and we must love our church folks who are often quite like them.
  3. Check your heart. Sin still haunts us, even as church leaders. Sometimes we hold bitterness as an idol. Be honest: we’re not always lovable ourselves.  Nevertheless, even those who know us best still love us. We owe to the church the patient love that others give us.
  4. Count your supporters. Just a few opposing folks in a church can make it difficult to love the whole church. My experience is, however, that leaders often overestimate the opposition and give too much attention to a few people. Count your supporters instead of the opposition, and you might be reminded of lovable people in the church.
  5. Take a vacation. Sometimes our lack of love for others is really just fatigue. The little things get magnified when we’re tired. Frustration sets in. Love gets strained. Take a break to recover and replenish, and you might find yourself more open to loving your congregation.
  6. Take some folks on a mission trip. Get away from the day-to-day grind of church work while also taking the gospel to the nations. Something unique often happens among a team of believers on the mission field. Get them to focus on those who need to hear the good news instead of on themselves, and you will likely see them as more lovable.
  7. Hang out with a few members who want to grow.  Loving the church is not possible without loving a few. Rather than trying to immediately love the whole Body again, focus on a few. Find some believers who are open, and invest in them. It’s amazing how just a few healthy relationships can change your perspective about the whole church.
  8. Get a vision about something in the church.  Ask God to help you concentrate on one area of the church’s ministry that most motivates you. Just as focusing on a few believers can be helpful, finding that one area can begin to reignite your love for the church. An outward focus just does that: it takes your eyes off self, and renewed love often follows.
  9. Seek reconciliation with that person. Whether we recognize it or note, one sour relationship can color the way we feel about an entire congregation. Maybe it’s time to say something like, “I’m sorry,” “please forgive me,” or “I fear you have something against me, and I want to fix it.”
  10. Keep doing ministry. When your love for your church is strained, withdrawal is not the answer. Nor is laziness or disobedience. Real love demands that we continue to serve the church even when we don’t feel like it. Be faithful in doing loving ministry for your church, and you might find your heart catching fire for them again.

The church that has worn you out is still God’s church. Perhaps undiscipled and often stunted in their growth, they still need our love. Ask Him who loves them enough to have died for them to reignite your love for them. What else might you suggest for this list?

7 Comments

  • steve says:

    Revelation 2:4 – Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.

    When serving others takes president over spending time with the Lord enthusiasm for service projects becomes burdensome. Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. Don’t try to do it all. You cannot work your way into heaven and you could never repay the Lord.

    Administration of the church, which so many senior pastors take upon themselves, can consume a pastors’ time, resulting in inadequate time in prayer, Bible study, and preaching and teaching the Word of God. Jesus delegated certain duties to His disciples and gave them the authority to carry out those duties. The pastor helps himself and others by leading like Jesus. Assigning meaningful task and responsibilities will help to unify the body and give the pastor more time for his 1st love.

    Praying in the power of the Holy Spirit preserves a strong connection with the Lord. I like the acronym ASK – Ask, Seek, & Knock, because when you pray in faith God will answer you. Let there be no doubt – God will answer you. Just be still and listen. If your desire is for greater passion for the Lord, just ASK.

  • Recently, we took a few weeks to be a guest at other local churches. This gave us fresh perspective on Gods people and how differences in denominations can be a breath of fresh air. Also, it leaves you longing to return to “your family” the good the bad and the ugly beauty of it all.
    Worshiping with other believers was healing.

  • Stephanie E. says:

    I was recently in a place like this, still am actually and I came to this website on purpose because I imagined that there would be an article written about it because I know it happens all of the time. I have lost my excitement for anything in the church. My family and I have recently visited a few churches to essentially start over but my heart is still very broken. I know that we are all human and things are done and said that we can’t take back but this person was a leader in the church that just really made me take a fall spiritually that I can’t get excited about serving in any other church at the moment. How long does it take to be restored and have a heart for other people again?

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