My wife and I are both fully retired. We moved to this rural community to help watch our grandkids. Life has been great until moving here. Now things are a little testy. The biggest problem, it seems, is that there is nothing, absolutely nothing, to do outside of babysitting. Our center has been the church of Christ, but there is only one congregation within a reasonable driving distance. We came from a group of hundreds to one with less than twenty. There are only a few men, which makes life a little bit harder. The workload is heavy even when everyone is present. But! I just complained about not having anything to do and having too much to do. Well, that too much is just on Sunday, no way to spread it out.
I don't know what to do or where to turn. I don't have any other male family members to confide in or otherwise to consult. I'm not too good at being my own elder. Of course, I have prayed and expected an answer, but maybe I'm like Abraham and Sarah, and I just can't wait. I feel like I am just sitting here watching my life drain away.
Please share your thoughts.
I've been a part of smaller congregations for most of my life. At one, there were 14 people and 6 were members of my family. I did the preaching, and the classes, and led the singing. Some days I also led prayers and served the Lord's Supper. It was just what needed to be done. Oh, and I also held a full-time job.
Ask my wife -- I don't like to sit still. I have projects to work on when I have idle time. I have hobbies that I tinker in (photography, hiking, learning Spanish). I generally invite others to join me but it doesn't bother me if I'm the only one. I look for ways to invite the young people in the congregation to have things to do. Next month a bunch of us are going on a three-day canoe trip that I organized. It will be about the 20th time for me.
In the congregation, we encourage the young men to read scriptures, say prayers, help with the Lord's Supper, etc. Eventually, they start song-leading and giving short talks. If you don't have someone to teach music, organize a trip to one of the singing schools and get several from your congregation to go along with you. Do things like this solve the problem both now and in the future.
Hold a community Bible study at a local diner. Offer to pick up groceries for someone who is shut-in.
As Jesus noted, "Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest" (John 4:35). There is always something to do for the Lord. You can't do everything, but there is enough you could do that you don't need to be idle.