Church Involvement

Creating a Culture of Involvement in Every Church

Month: April 2017

Is Attendance ‘Service?’

Does Church Attendance Constitute ‘Serving?’

Some very nice members of the church, I’ve  been told,  equate attending Bible classes and worship assemblies as their ‘service’ in the church.   Is Bible class and worship attendance the same or equal to ministry in the church?

If you want my opinion, I would say “No.”   Upon what basis? It is based upon what James says in James 1:22 that we are to be doers and not just hearers of the Word. Hearing the word is not service.   Doing is service and service is doing.

The answer may be “Yes” if members came to the worship assemblies with the purpose of edifying their fellow and sister Christians.  The edifying may be considered as ministering to the assembled saints.    Also most folks don’t participate in the singing of the assemblies, and most rush out of the worship assemblies to get to the local eatery (before other churches do) and thus do not greet or fellowship with other Christians.   There’s not much serving going on in such instances.  Those who remain to greet and encourage after services are using their gifts and are serving.

We usually say that we assemble to worship.   I’d say so.   But hopefully we also assemble to edify and encourage each other.  In my estimation, edification and encouragement may be considered as serving others.    Sitting and listening are not necessarily service.   Participation with the intent of glorifying God and edifying one another would be considered as service.

What about those who lead worship or those who teach our classes?   We speak of those who ‘serve’ at the Lord’s table and from that standpoint those who lead us in worship are serving.   Those who prepare and teach/preach Bible lessons, I believe are serving.   Such folks are using their gifts and are serving.

What’s my point?   If you are a Christian and you want to be a serving Christian—not just a Christian in name—you will want to use/exercise what God has given you in the area of service or ministry in your home, in your workplace, in your school, in your community and yes, in your church even in the assemblies.    For example, if you have the gift of pastoring, you will shepherd sheep.   If you have the gift of exhortation, you will exhort.   If you have the gift of giving, you will give liberally.   You need to discover what your gift is and use it (go to for more information on The I Serve U Inventories).

I suggest to you, in my opinion, sitting in a pew and listening (and looking around) are not the same as service (and the same for attending a Bible class).   I remember a sign I saw years ago over the entrance into a church’s auditorium; it read:  “Enter to worship, leave to serve.”   Sounds reasonable to me.    What do you think?  I’d like to hear from you.

We need to teach and train our brethren that they need to attend Bible classes and worship assemblies to become more like Christ (to become serving disciples) and to honor the One who saves us.   We also need to teach them that service is doing something active versus something passive (sitting) and that service will go outside the four walls of a church edifice.



Are We “Accommodating” or “Assimilating?”



To accommodate someone is to do a favor for or help someone.   In the church, we use the word to describe how we adjust meeting times, offer child care, provide adequate parking, offer age (or need) sensitive classes, and generally provide for the creature comforts and spiritual needs of those attending our classes and assemblies.

On the other hand, there is that other word:   assimilate.   It means to make part of oneself or to accept or to incorporate.   This is best illustrated by a new member being welcomed by a church family, being introduced to the members, being invited to classes, being the recipients of Christian hospitality, becoming a part of a ministry, and becoming part of the whole congregation.

Too often we are do a pretty good job of accommodating our brothers and sisters in Christ (and even guests).   In some sense, we want to attract and keep members and this is often done with accommodation. On the other hand, we often fail in assimilating them into the whole body to a point where they feel accepted, valued, and needed.   Accommodating is a gracious gesture; assimilating is an act of true discipleship and fellowship.

Accommodating is generally amoral and it has its limits.   We cannot compromise God’s truth to accommodate others. Assimilation, on the other hand, is a necessity for the local church to experience its peak performance.   Assimilation creates an environment of spiritual and numerical growth. Assimilation requires full participation and cooperation of every member for all the benefit and for the church to grow.

While it could be argued that both are important, assimilation is the more important of the two.   It better matches the Lord’s design and purpose of His church.   The Lord is more interested in our growth than our personal comfort.

Among the many things that constantly challenge local church leaders, this is the most challenging: doing and providing things that promote constant church growth.   One of the many things that church leaders can do to assimilate their fellow and sister members is to help them discover and use their spiritual gifts and passions for the local church.

I have designed an inventory that assists church leaders and members in discovering six priceless pieces of information about each member, that when used wisely, will strengthen and promote member assimilation and cause the church to grow.   The inventory is called the I Serve U Inventories and they are designed to be comprehensive, easy to do and fun.   If I can help you in this assimilation process, please let me know.     Trav

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