I remember when my daughters were about 1-2 years old. That was when they started actively asking for things and communicating their wants. I was very happy not just because they started communicating with me but also started imitating what I did. When I smiled, she smiled back. When I hopped, she did as well.
There was nothing “fun” about what I did. But it became fun to me when she imitated me. What I would consider “ordinary” actions became something “extraordinary” that I remember and cherish when someone followed what I did.
I think it is the same in the Christian life. Things we normally do such as reading the Bible and praying, sometimes seem to lose significance in our lives simply because they are repeating. But, for example, when a person who just became a Christian wants to follow what we do, it all of a sudden brings freshness to what we always have done as Christians.
Many Christians believe that the joy of Christianity is in “learning”. Learning can certainly be enjoyable. But the true joy is found in “being followed”. (Remember how you felt when your Instagram followers increased!)
Many Christians live “joy-less” Christian life simply because there is no one who wants to follow their footsteps of becoming like Jesus. It is sad to see many Christians remain as “church-goers” even after many years of attending church with no one saying “I want to live like him/her”. Since Jesus is attractive, if we follow Jesus by serving others the way he did, there will be people who want to follow what we do. If that is not happening, what we regularly do as Christians just become religious rituals and we lose joy in our Christian life.
We are not called to make our own followers but people don’t know how to follow Jesus without following someone who “show” them how it is done. And it all begins with love, and love gets expressed through serving. There is transforming power in serving and that is how Jesus made followers, billions of them.
So, if you feel that there isn’t much joy in your Christian life, I encourage you to start serving “people”. In our church, shepherds and youth shepherds are probably the ones who enjoy Christian life the most because they have someone who says “I want to live like my shepherd.” But you don’t have to have a position to become influential. Influence comes from serving, not status. Serving often begins with simple things like welcoming, encouraging, helping, and caring. When people perceive you like one of these, they will trust you and be willing to follow what you do.