Church Involvement

Creating a Culture of Involvement in Every Church

Category: Church Involvement (Page 3 of 6)



What is the nature of your ministry and why do you have a website?   Most church leaders are interested in the spiritual and numerical growth of their congregations.   Some of those leaders are discovering that Christian service is a part of discipleship and spiritual growth, and those same leaders want the members under their care to be true disciples.   They are realizing that ‘spectator’ or ‘sitting’ members should be ‘serving members.’    This is a healthy trend in the church.    My ministry exists for such church leaders and churches.   From my experience as an involvement minister I have learned what works best in  getting members from the ‘sitting’ position to the ‘serving’ position and I want to share this experience and wisdom with church leaders.    My website exists to assist churches in involvement, but it also exists for church leaders to blog or communicate with me.   Bottom line:   I am interested in getting the word out about church involvement.

Why are you in the involvement ministry?

In 2003 I experienced burn out from full time preaching. By 2008 I had retrained myself in several areas of ministry—one was involvement.   I was offered my present job in late 2008 and have loved it ever since.   I am one of a very few full time involvement ministers.   If you spend five minutes communicating with me, you will hear the passion in my voice for this ministry.

What is the ideal size congregation for starting an involvement ministry?   Larger congregations need more organization and more folks in order to make an involvement ministry possible.   Larger churches may need a full time staffer as well.   Smaller congregations of 200 to 300 are ideal in the sense that they usually have a good number of folks who will make an involvement ministry work well without hiring extra full time staff.   The key is a supportive leadership which includes elders, deacons and ministry leaders.  Any size church can have a successful/fruitful involvement ministry using my tools.

How much does it cost to hire you as a consultant?     The most profitable thing I can for you is to ‘listen’ to you.   This is my first responsibility and I will listen to you without charge.  As I listen and learn about your congregation (and her leadership), I will know if you need my services or not.   The best thing I can do is coach and consult and share ideas (that work) with you.  The cost will differ from congregation to congregation because of size, the number of contacts and the scale of the project.   My consulting guarantees that the process is successful.  There is nothing more embarrassing and disheartening than failure.   My services pay for themselves.   What I am finding is that my brethren are very smart and they are very excited about what I do.   This simply means that they are motivated to take over the process once I help them get it started.

Do any of our Christian colleges provide training in involvement ministry?   None that I know of.   I am open to assist colleges in this area if they wish.   I am open to training anyone to become an involvement minister.

What are the obstacles in starting an involvement ministry?   I don’t like to use that word “obstacle.”   If church leadership does the work necessary, they will have a very fruitful/successful involvement ministry.    Church leadership must educate the brethren slowly and thoroughly first.   Experience tells me if we help the church understand the biblical basis of what we are attempting to do, there will be few if any problems.   The opposite is true:  don’t properly prepare the brethren and you are doomed for failure.   Romans 10:17 applies here.   The only possible obstacle could be close-mindedness.   When church leadership is open-minded, the Lord will work through us for His glory and for the edification of the church.

What books would you recommend for us to read as leaders as we prepare for starting an involvement ministry?   I have a list these on my website under “Books.”  I also think all the articles on this website are most helpful.  I am also rewriting two books that I will soon make available to churches; one on bearing fruit and one on developing one’s spiritual gifts.    The I Serve U Inventories will be released soon.

Why do you suggest getting more information from our members than just their spiritual gifts?   The I Serve U Inventories seek six pieces of priceless information about each member.  I am familiar with other involvement individuals and organizations who seek to only discover the members’ spiritual gifts; that alone does not give a complete picture of each Christian.  In fact, the other five pieces of information (that my inventories request) are just as important as the spiritual gifts. Every bit of this information makes for a comprehensive involvement ministry.

What lessons do our members need to hear in order to prepare the church to start an involvement ministry?   Any and everything that has to do with service, spiritual gifts, purpose and the priesthood of believers. I cannot begin to list all of them here.  However a solid preacher will do the necessary work.    This is NOT a quick fix thing; a good preacher will preach on this for at least a year (your congregation may decide to have a specific congregational focus for a year in preparation for kicking off an involvement ministry). I will counsel with your pulpit minister if you wish.    Also look at the “Books” list on this website.

Why should we work with you?   Most folks and organizations that (attempt to) do what I do (1)  are not as thorough as I am, (2)  are not members of the church and (3)  are very expensive.     My approach is to show you how God has designed your members and your congregation for local service in the local church and community.   God does not make mistakes.   We need to work together because I will train members to be actual coaches which in turn will perpetuate what we’ve started together.   I want your involvement ministry to grow and continue until the Lord returns.   I will also consult with you years into the future if you want me to.

What makes the I Serve U Inventories superior to other inventories?    They  seek to discover six priceless pieces of information about each member; there are no other inventories like them. None!   These six priceless pieces of information will be given to the church leadership, deacons and ministry leaders for their use in putting members into ministry for which they are best suited.   This information can be used for other purposes.  It becomes your information.   It is some of the most helpful information you will ever have of your members—even more valuable than their birthday dates and mailing addresses.

Discipleship & Involvement

BowlTowelWhat does discipleship have to do with involvement?   Everything!   You see, being a disciple of Jesus involves service (involvement).   Having washed His disciples’ feet, He said, “I have given you an example.”   If we follow that example, we will serve through involvement in the local church.   Jesus said, “I came not to be served, but to serve.”   Once again, if we follow His example, we will serve.   Service is what involvement is all about.   Service is a huge part of what being a disciple of Jesus is all about.

In the Lord’s church we have emphasized everything from church attendance to giving and, have, in my opinion missed the entire boat.   That boat is discipleship.

What is discipleship?  Discipleship is entirely different from (what we term) church membership.   We have tended to elevate church membership above discipleship.   In fact, many churches do not even mention the ‘D’ word.   However, Christians are called disciples in the Bible more often than they are called members.   Membership is a blessing of discipleship; it does not replace or supersede discipleship.

A disciple of Christ is an ever-learning student of Jesus, an imitator of His example in prayer, love for people, selflessness, self-denial, giving, service, obedience, faith in the Father, and suffering.     A disciple is also a follower and a follower follows Jesus.   This simply means we follow His lead and emulate His example.

Back to the original subject of this article.   If you, as leaders of the Lord’s church, want to make disciples (cf. Matt.28:19—as Jesus instructed), you will need to instruct and equip the members of your congregation in being serving disciples.     This is why some church members balk at serving; they did not ‘place membership’ to serve but to be served.   It appears that some of our congregations have a rather large number of members who are not using their God-given blessings to serve the local church and the community.   Why not?   Our failure to disciple them.

How do we change that?   First and foremost, we need to be preaching and teaching the truth about discipleship (and all that it involves) in our congregations. Second, we need to be educating the brethren on how God has designed and gifted them for service.   Third, we should be equipping the saints for service.   Fourth, we need to challenge the thinking of the local church by continual teaching and preaching that discipleship is what God expects and this what we as church leaders expect.   Our most pressing task is to make disciples.

This is why I am so impassioned about church involvement. It is not only a mark of discipleship, it is also a blessing to disciples, the local church and the community.

Dr. Carlus Gupton will be with us speaking on this very topic on January 20 & 21, 2017 at our first “Church Involvement Conference” at Athens church of Christ in Athens, TN.    Information about CIC is found elsewhere on this website giving details of this great event.

Please let me know how I may assist you in making disciples through involvement in your congregation.



A Biblical Alternative to “Success”

fruitpic1A Biblical Alternative to “Success”

When it comes to ministry outcome, many times we are most concerned with being “successful.”   We ask, “Was this event a success?”   May I suggest an alternative:  “fruitfulness.”  This appears, to me, to be more Biblical.     Take a moment and do refresher readings of John 15:1-11 and Galatians 5:22-26.   By the way, there are over 300 passages in the Bible on fruit bearing.

What are the obvious benefits to this way of thinking?

  1.  God gets the glory; this is the way it should always be.
  2.  We show our authenticity as His disciples to a lost and cynical world.
  3.  We honestly acknowledge that we can’t bear fruit without Jesus; this is both humbling and challenging.   We are totally dependent upon Him, not ourselves or our human resources and efforts.
  4.  We cannot fail.   If it is Jesus working in us and through us, failure is impossible. When we depend upon Him, the final result is always HIS, not ours.
  5.  The emphasis is not numbers or human effort, but Jesus. This is exciting because church members get to see how Jesus can work in and through them.   This creates deeper faith and more enthusiasm for doing His work.
  6.  It is my personal opinion that there will be less burnout and stress when we approach ministry in this manner.   Success, in its human definition, is impossible to achieve and as a result causes stress.   Bearing fruit comes easier because the Lord is in control and because He doesn’t expect the impossible from us. He simply expects us to do what we have been divinely designed to do.

What does fruit look like?   Changed attitudes: people no longer worry; they pray instead.   People no longer hold grudges; they forgive.   People are no longer bigoted; they are accepting and loving.   People no longer just sit in a pew; they sing, they participate, they get involved in the life of the church, they love the brethren and get to know them. Members no longer are dependent upon the professionals; they depend upon the Lord. Members no longer expect the church to grow; members contribute to the growth and welfare of the church. These are all (good) fruits (see Galatians 5:22-26),

The point is simple: our goal in ministry should always be fruitfulness.  We must first approach the Lord with our goals and ask His blessing and wisdom. We need to decide what fruit He wants for us to bear before we execute our plans, and as we make our plans.  And, then, after the ministry event, we need to evaluate by asking, “what good fruit was born?” “How did the Lord work through us?” “What did He want us to learn?”

We are less likely to burn out, be discouraged, dread the next project, and feel stressed with this emphasis.   This is a mindset (paradigm) issue. The church needs to get out of the “success” business and into the fruit-bearing business. The solution to our lack of involvement in the church is to raise up a generation of church members who are first and foremost disciples of Christ.   Jesus said one of the identifying marks of a disciple is bearing much good fruit.

Bearing fruit may not be as ‘colorful’ as being ‘successful.’   But it is God-pleasing and it brings Him the glory He rightfully deserves.   And, more than that, we never fail when we bear fruit.

Travis Irwin

Our 2014 “Down on the Farm” congregational focus emphasized the four ways we bear fruit for the Lord.  We had 100% participation.

I have a 13 lesson book entitled “God’s Field.” It is a study of fruit bearing in the Bible and how the Lord’s church is called to bear fruit.   I often tell church leaders: if we could get a whole generation thinking Biblically about this, we’d never ever have another problem with spiritual and numerical growth, and we’d always have enough folks involved in ministry.


Untapped Resources

untapped1When younger I was always hearing about all the untapped resources we Americans had.   Even fifty years later the petroleum industry is still telling us of untapped oil in shale.   We are now learning more about new sources of energy which come (free) from the sun, the wind and yes, the waves.   We are beginning to tap into these resources and the potential is unlimited.

When I think of the Lord’s church, I think of the many untapped resources we have.   Why do they remain untapped?   There are several resources that are not fully utilized.   Why don’t we use them?   Which ones?   I can think of at least 3:

The Lord.    We often quote Philippians 4:13 and I think that is great.   But what about Ephesians 3:20-21?   Do we really believe those verses or do we like to just quote them because they sound good?  The Lord is our power source for doing the impossible.    Are we tapping into His power through prayer (cf. Eph.6:18).    Too often we talk about Him and then we don’t ‘tap’ into Him.

The Gospel.    Romans 1:16.   The gospel is God’s dynamic.   It transforms the worst of the worst.   It changes people, communities, churches and nations.     We need to draw on its power every day from morning to noon to evening and then again the next day.    We need to ‘tap’ into it by studying it, teaching it, preaching it, defending it and living it 24/7.

The People.    Romans 12:3 says that we ought not think too highly of ourselves.  Simply put, we need to look realistically at ourselves.   What is a realistic view of the people who make up the body of Christ? Briefly, the Bible says we were created in God’s image but we fell into sin.  However, we are saved sinners by the grace of God.   But there is more—much more.  We are indwelled by God’s Spirit.   Also, we are God’s workmanship to do good works and we are empowered to do such because we are gifted.   How so? We have non-miraculous gifts (Rom.12:4-8; 1 Pet.4:10; Eph.4:11), we are gifted with life experiences and skills and the grace of God.    And in most churches (with which I am familiar) these gifts, and the people who possess them, are not ‘tapped.’   Idle gifts are useless.  Untapped gifts are useless.   They are seldom used fully for the glory of God, the good of the church and the good of the community in which the church resides.

Is it laziness or ignorance that allows these great resources to go untapped?   Before I die I want to encourage every church to tap into the gift resources that are presently within them—and put them to work (exercise them).    Surely, the Lord has greater plans for His kingdom. Every member of the local church should be serving in some manner in the local church ‘tapping’ fully into the resources the Lord has provided him/her.

Travis Irwin,  Athens, TN







5 Insights from Teaching Spiritual Gift Development


3d human looking with red binoculars

5 Insights Gained from Teaching

Spiritual Gift Development

There is an old (and true) saying about teachers: they learn more than their students. Simply put: in the process of studying for any class, the well-prepared teacher has to dig deep and do lots of study.   He/she seldom gets to share everything he/she has learned in his/her study.   These same teachers are challenged to change previous held views.  We call this growth.

In the process of preparing for and teaching our spiritual gift development classes, I’ve learned many new things, changed my thinking on some things and have many newly discovered insights that will hopefully motivate you to re-evaluate what you’ve always believed about spiritual gifts and encourage you to start developing the gifts within your congregation.


The definitions of the gifts speak loudly of their importance and purpose.   Teaching is serious business as is pastoring.   Exhortation is a strong usage of biblical principles used in private and public and is greatly needed in the church today.   Prophetic utterances would stop most churches in their tracks.  Each non-miraculous gift meets real needs in and out of the church.   These definitions are ‘heavy’ terms and call for great responsibility. All of this tells me that God is serious about these gifts and He wants them to be used (lovingly) in every church.   This is NOT a matter that is to be taken lightly or be overlooked by church leadership.   I am thoroughly convinced that most churches remain weak and/or small because members and their gifts have not be developed as God originally ordained.   Christians and churches struggle because they are not empowered by these gifts.


Discovering, developing and deploying (using) these gifts should be a part of the maturation process for every member of the church. There is a lot of immaturity in the body of Christ (e.g. our lack of involvement, our lack of love for the lost, our self-centeredness, the division among us, the worldliness in the body, anxiety, bigotry, poor stewardship, covetousness, etc.).  I am convinced that one of our most promising means of maturing Christians is assisting them in discovering how the Lord has uniquely designed them, helping them develop their gifts and then putting them to work.    Mature Christians are serving Christians.


Using gifts requires courage.   We live in a culture that says, “Live and let live” or “I’m OK, You’re OK.”   The fact of the matter is that none of us are OK; we are all sinners in the need of God’s grace.  When we appeal to living lives that have been touched by the grace of God or need to be touched by the grace of God (cf. Titus 2:11-14) we are required to courageously confront folks in and out of the body of Christ.   Most of the gifts involve communicating truth to others—whether in or out of the church.   Even though we follow the instruction to speak the truth in love, many folks are easily offended by such.   When you use your gift (e.g. teaching, prophecy, exhortation, evangelism), you have to be brave.   In the areas of the gifts of giving, compassion and service, courage is required because you are called to serve the disenfranchised or you are called to give to controversial ministries.   In the areas of leadership, and pastoring, you are called, many times, to make unpopular decisions and plans that upset folks.  Using one’s gifts calls for great courage and strength.  As such, we become more dependent upon the Lord for wisdom and strength to serve well.


The church (in general) does not manifest these gifts at all or when they are manifested, they aren’t manifested fully or well.   The churches of Christ, generally, do not believe in present-day spiritual gifts in any shape, form or fashion*.   The result is obvious:  the church suffers greatly and the lost remain lost. We seldom if ever see or hear of true full-blown exhortation.   We seldom hear a prophetic admonition; in fact, it is highly discouraged unless it comes from a pulpit minister or an eldership.   Exhortation has been reduced to saying “Good morning, how are you?” Pastoring is done, in many congregations, exclusively by the preacher.  Any administrative/leadership is seldom recognized or appreciated.   Many churches continue to aim at nothing and hit it with great accuracy.

Much of our lack of spiritual and numerical growth is a result of our ignorance of or a lack of instruction in a practical application of the whole counsel of God in this area.


Relationships and biblical submission are paramount.   Many of our church relationships at best are surface/shallow relationships.     However, exhortation, pastoring, leading, prophecy and teaching can only be done in true in-depth koinonia/fellowship.   I am personally convinced that many fall away simply because we do not practice biblical fellowship and we do not use our gifts to get people saved and keep them saved (by maturing them into true servants).    Our priority (in many local churches) could be summed up by the following: assembling on time, getting started on time and finishing on time. Fellowship and relationships are seldom if ever addressed.   In depth training and teaching are neglected.   Ephesians 5:21 takes on a whole new meaning when we study how to develop our gifts and use them for His purpose.

What if we developed and used non-miraculous gifts as they were designed?   All gifts are designed to edify or strength the church.   Hopefully, the faithfulness and involvement of the membership will rise in number.   People who use their gifts grow and mature and serve.     Those not growing are challenged by those who manifest their gifts.

We are in the soul saving and soul developing business.   Our goal is to get people into Christ and get them to Heaven.   This is not an easy ‘anybody can do it’ effort.   It takes dedication, commitment and serious effort including constant training, and following God’s plan.

My new book Maxing Out Your Spiritual Gifts will hopefully be available at the Church Involvement Conference in January, 2017.

*Recommended reading:  Doug Hamilton of Sunset Institute Press has a newer book entitled Spiritual Giftedness.   On pages 39-56 Doug discusses why the gifts of Romans 12 are non-miraculous gifts (he would refer to these as passionate endowments).   The point?   Christians still have gifts today–at least some gifts–and as such, they should be taken seriously.   We can show that we take them seriously by discovering them, developing them and deploying them in every member of the church.

Travis Irwin

March 21, 2016

3 Ways to Assess Members for Service

coach43 Ways to Assess Members

At first glance, the word “assess” sounds devious and dangerous.   Other words could be used: evaluate, appraise, rate or measure.   But those are weird also.

When I use the word “assess” I use it in this manner:   to assess a member of the church is to assess them by looking at their spiritual gifts, their personality trait, their passions, their past ministry experience and other things.   The goal of an assessment (of these things) is to help the church member see how God has designed him/her for service and to assist him/her in getting involved in a church ministry or ministries that best fit him/her.   With that definition in mind, the word “assess” takes on a most positive meaning and purpose.

3 Ways to Do Member Assessments                                      

Yes, there at least 3 different ways to do assessments with members.   A church needs to be very careful which one they choose; it could mean the difference between sweet success  and bitter failure.


Simply put, self-assessment is the church member attempting to interpret his/her inventory findings.   Having attempted to do this, he/she must next attempt to discover what ministry or ministries that best fit his/her inventory findings.   The problem with this way of assessing is that most members don’t have the special training to know about gifts, passions, etc. and how to interpret them plus many members do not know much about the ministries of the local church (their purpose and related details).   I am not saying (all) members cannot assess themselves; I am saying that in most cases, most church members are not acquainted with any of these things and are thus unable to properly handle all this new information.   With the self-assessment, there is no guidance from wiser, more informed folks.

There is also no incentive to fill out the inventories in a timely manner and there is no one to follow up to see if the inventories have been done and ministries have been chosen (unless someone has been assigned).   Too much responsibility is placed upon the individual church member for this to work well.     Yes, there will always be a handful of members who are disciplined enough to do it this way.   However, in all (kind) honesty, most members are not disciplined enough to do all these things on their own.

Church Assessment

This means of assessment is a step up from self-assessment but it too, has its issues.   Church assessment is when members fill out the inventories and turn them into someone who been assigned that responsibility.   That (other) person then decides when a member is needed for a ministry.   In other words, the member who filled out the inventories may or may not be used in any ministry in the church.   This is counter-productive and it is not the original purpose of doing the inventories.   In many cases, this priceless information (that the member has willingly provided) will end up on a data base or in a file drawer never to see the light of day.   If a member does the inventories and if a member chooses to work in a ministry or ministries, that member should be put to work immediately.   This is how ministry grows.   Church assessment puts too much responsibility upon the person collecting the information; he/she decides who gets to serve and who doesn’t–and when—if ever.    This method could be modified to be more effective, however, the following is really the way to go.

Coach Assessment

This, I believe is the best approach.     What is it?   When we do I Serve U programs, we will train a limited number of members to become coaches.   The coaches guide members through the process of discovering new things about themselves (e.g. spiritual gifts, passions, etc.).   Coaches interpret the findings of the inventories, give definitions, ask questions, make suggestions and basically assist the member in finding church ministry that best fits him/her.   The coach then fills out a form about the member (that he/she has interviewed) and gives it to the appropriate deacons and ministry leaders (these are the folks in whose ministry/ministries the ‘coached’ member would be serving). This means of assessment truly empowers the church member to be what God designed him/her to be/do. The coaches may also take on the responsibility to ‘follow up’ to make sure the member is serving, that the deacon did put the member to work, and to continue to encourage the member and to make recommendations.

Above all else that could be said for coach assessing, the best thing that can be said is this:   it invests in people.   It is a form of mentoring that creates new relationships that will bless the church for now and eternity.    Our greatest asset is the church membership (the people that have been entrusted to us) and our greatest responsibility to them is helping them grow in their relationships with the Lord and each other.   Coaching is worth it because people are worth it.   They are worth the time, the prayer, the energy, the effort and yes, the money.

Questions?   The Bible says to do all things decently and in order.   This is what we attempt to do with the I Serve U program.   Our goal is to do more than just put members in ministry; it is to grow the church numerically and spiritually.   If we can serve you, please contact us.

Travis Irwin, involvement minister

Athens, TN              423 920 3060

Developing Spiritual Gifts

Dark chalkboard with a Personal Development illustration.

Dark chalkboard with a Personal Development illustration.

Developing Spiritual Gifts

There is some writing about the spiritual gift list in Romans 12.   Most folks believe that these are “spiritual gifts” and these are the terms used.   Others believe that these aren’t gifts; they believe that they are “capacities.” In other words, God gives us the capacity to do certain things.   And, then one brother calls them “passions.”

Either way, most of my brethren will say that these gifts need to be developed.   I agree.     The church is full of gifted folks who are NOT using their gifts in any shape, form or fashion.     Others are using them in a limited manner.  However…

What would happen in the church if:

  1.  Every member discovered his/her gift?
  2.  Every member developed his/her gift?
  3.  Every member deployed (exercised, used, put to work) his/her gift?

Now, seriously, stop and think that through.   What if every member maxed out his/her gift for the glory of God?   What would the church look like?   What would the announcements sound like?   How many baptisms would there be a year in the local church?   Would there be more or less church fusses?   Would we always be short of volunteers?   What new ministries would be created?  What opportunities of service, unknown to us, would be fulfilled?  What affect would that have on the assemblies of the church?   What would the community think?   What would He think?   Just think of the positive possibilities!

For you more conservative bashful folks:  what if just 25% of your church membership was equipped (had developed their gifts) for ministry?   What about 50%?   75%?

How many of your members know their gifts, have developed them and are using them in your local congregation?   There is a co-relation between numerical and spiritual growth and the number of folks using their gifts.

But you ask, “Yes, but that’s a lot of trouble.”    What you may be saying is this:   “We like things the way they are.”     The more important question should be, “Does He like things the way they are?”    He has gifted you; your response ought to be thanksgiving for and the usage of your gifts.

If you are interested in developing the gifts (people) in your congregation, I have materials that I would like to share with you.   Please email me at           Trav

The Latest Statistics for Church Involvement


If you are interested in discovering how your church’s overall involvement is, you can go to the link pasted below.

Pew Research says that the churches of Christ average about 44%.   I think that is pretty impressive.   It is also interesting what churches/religious organizations place near the top and near the bottom.

I am still an advocate of 100% involvement, and I am still convinced that we can have it (please see my article on 100% involvement on this website).

Travis Irwin, Athens, TN

About this Website

Getrinvolved3About this Website

Thank you for taking the time to look at this website. I hope you find something helpful here. This website exists…

  1.  To encourage church involvement.   We are told that 4000 churches in the USA close their doors every year.   There are many reasons why this occurs. I believe one of them is the lack of (membership) involvement in most churches.   In many churches, membership is little more than showing up for a religious service a few times a year and possibly contributing money.   However, if every member of the church was involved in intentional ministry, the church would be strong and would always be attracting new members and churches would not close their doors.   Being involved in ministry is a mark of discipleship and every member is to be a disciple of Christ first.
  2.  To assist congregations of the church of Christ.   I am a member of the church of Christ.   My dad was in ministry in the church of Christ and I have been a minister in the church of Christ for over 45 years. I am very familiar with how leaders and members of the church of Christ think, worship and work.   I can be helpful to them if they wish to get all their members involved in Christian ministry.   However, there is material found on this website that can be helpful to any group of believers.
  3.  To create discussion.     Most churches have a pulpit minister and some have a youth minister.   Very few have involvement ministers.  I’m hoping to help churches without involvement ministers while I am also hoping to connect to involvement ministers and create some discussion about what they are doing where they are.   I would like to share some ideas and I would very much like to hear from other involvement ministers to hear of their successes and, yes, their failures.

Contact information: or

You can also call or text 423 920 3060.   Travis Irwin of Athens, TN


Living On Purpose

what is my purpose - spiritual and philosophical question in vintage wooden letterpress printing blocks isolated on white

Living On Purpose

The buzz words today are “intentionality” and “purposeful.”   People want lives that are full of purpose and specific intention.   Jobs, money, education and things are becoming less important to people.   They want to live lives that make a difference—lives on purpose.

Colossians 1:16 tells us that all things were created by Him and for Him.   We understand His creative powers yet we fail to meditate on that second phrase:   “…and for Him.”     Our very reason for our existence is His purpose.

But how do you discover His purpose for you?   God’s Word is clear on several levels.

God’s General Purpose for Every Person

1 Corinthians 10:31 says that everything we do should be for God’s glory. Creation exists for His glory (Psalm 19:1-2).     And, we are part of His creation.

This does not mean every person knows God’s purpose for his/her life or wants to glorify Him, but this is our purpose as part of His creation.

God’s Purpose for the Church

Ephesians 3:9-11 tells us the church’s purpose is make known the wisdom of God. It’s also said a different way in Matthew 28:19 where Christ says, “Go make disciples….”    Once again, some churches know this and some don’t.   It is evident in churches that know this: they are making disciples; they are growing spiritually and numerically.

God’s Specific Purpose for Individual Christians

Those who have been recreated in Christ have been recreated for good works (Eph.2:10).    However,  God has specific a purpose, I believe,  for each child of His.

I am making an assumption on this last statement, but the assumption is based upon common senses and one Scriptural principle.

  1.    Every Christian is different. This is a given. No one will disagree with this statement.    This is common sense.
  2.    Every Christian has different spiritual gifts, life experiences, life skills, personalities and passions.  This is common sense but it is also taught in Scripture (see 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12).   Having expressed this, the next logical thing is to ask the question, “Why does every Christian have differing gifts, etc.?”     I believe it is because God wants individual Christians to fulfill their individual/specific purpose in their lives contributing to the overall good of the church and their community.

Do you want to live a life of intentionality?   Do you want your church to be a church that has purpose?     If you answer, “Yes” to the first question, you will need to do some in-depth study and reflection to discover your God-given gifts, passions, personality, life skills and life experiences as an individual. Knowing these things may help you in discovering a specific purpose for your life. You may already be involved in things that are a part of that purpose.

If you answered “Yes” to the second question, then you need to discover the strengths and values of your members PLUS discover what your community’s and church’s needs are.   Most churches do a lot of good, spend a lot of money and exert a lot of effort.   This is what I term the “Shotgun” approach to ministry.   If your congregation is doing all of this, and it is causing the church to grow numerically and spiritually, your church may be on target.   However, if your congregation is floundering and it is not growing numerically or spiritually, I think you need to do some research.   It will be a good investment of time.

When you invest the time and effort required, you will have a better idea of what God’s specific purpose is for you as an individual or as a congregation of the church.



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