When you meet with fellow Christians, you have godly examples of behavior and beliefs that can spur you in your own spiritual growth.

You have access to people who can actively encourage you and walk beside you in trials and joys. How can you expect to maximize your growth in Christ without learning from the wisdom and insight other believers can offer?

Another angle to consider is how the church community influences those outside the church. The church is active and present within the world, parishes that lie in the heart of local communities, whose members reach out in service to the wider community, inparticular to the lonely, poor, isolated and vulnerable.

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Churchgoers and leaders alike help create a community within the church that glorifies Christ.

How that takes place is important to address, but the “why” behind it is something that must be considered.

Paul discussed the unity and diversity in the church when he wrote to the Corinthians. He said that “the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12). Throughout this part of the chapter, he asserts how all are part of the body of Christ, but individually, each are different members with different gifts. One person may lack in a certain area, but together the church, as the body of Christ, is stronger.

That’s why everyone takes part in supporting community within the church — each person has something different to offer, from new and experienced believers to lay and church leaders alike. The unity and diversity within the church enriches the church community, equipping people in the church for righteousness to glorify Christ and to spread the news of His love and salvation that extends to all people.

You may be wondering how you fit into the church. In that case, you should explore your gifts and how you can use them to serve others and Christ both now and in the future. Maybe you can commit to attending church regularly, devoting yourself to prayer and reading Scripture, and getting involved in a ministry at church. Or it could be time to step up into some lay or more formal church leadership role where you can more directly impact the church

If you’d like to start or develop your role in your parish community it starts with speaking to your parish priest.

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