Church Involvement

Don’t Waste This Crisis

Don’t Waste this Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic has limited our movement, emptied our stores, closed our schools, taken our jobs and prevented us from assembling.    Several articles have addressed the issue of “closings.”    Folks have responded with articles on what is still “open.”

We have a choice when it comes to responding to this pandemic.   One choice is to be angry and refuse to cooperate with authorities.     Another one is to be unhappy and be controlled by our circumstances.     However, there is an alternative:  we can use this time, as some have suggested, to spend more time together with family, spend more time reading the Bible, more time praying, etc.

I suggest that we should use this crisis as an opportunity to grow spiritually.  In the April 24, 2020 issue of “World” magazine, Audree Sue Peterson suggests that we should be setting and achieving spiritual goals as we shelter in place.

For example, if we don’t learn patience during this crisis, this time would have been wasted.   A crisis without opportunity is hopeless.   Our present crisis, however, presents many opportunities.

We should also be spending this time making plans for what is waiting for us when this pandemic is over (some are now saying that it may not be over for several years).     The pandemic has changed our assemblies, Bible classes and outreach already.    When it subsides or goes away, its affects will remain for years to come.   In some businesses future plans have been moved up to the present.   Some congregations had plans for the future, and this pandemic has  forced them to go ahead and implement the plans.     Medical professionals had future plans for telemedicine in two or three years.   Guess what?  They are doing it now.  Necessity demands the change===ahead of schedule.    Churches are faced with a similar phenomenon.   For example, as the church turns more and more gray, more opportunities/challenges will come to use virtual means to communicate with those older members who cannot get out.    However, we are being forced to do such right now.   Similar things are happening with church education.   Fewer and fewer are att3nding Bible classes.   Solution?   Virtual.  We’re doing that now; it can’t wait no longer.

While you are in the thick of this pandemic, I suggest you some spend time evaluating and assessing several things in your congregation.  You may object by saying that you are too busy just trying to adjust to this new norm/reality.  However, I suggest that you look at the following in this context because issues are fresh on your minds.   If you wait til everything returns to normal (which, it never will be same again), you will forget what you are learning ln a daily basis now.  Following are a few suggestions:

  1.   Assess your mission statement as a church.     Most congregations don’t even have a mission statement.   If you are one of those, I strongly suggest you get one or credit one.  The pandemic can show you where you are weak and where you need to make changes.   Your core values are coming to the top; possibly some changes need to be made.   For those who have a mission statement, the challenges of this pandemic may have provided church leaders ideas for revised and updated mission statements.  
  2.   Assess your assemblies.     We haven’t assembled for 12 weeks.   We have had virtual worship services all this time.    We don’t have all the elements in virtual services and we’ve added one more:  communication for an elder each week.  Sometimes our normal assemblies are stuck in a rut and need to be evaluated.  I am NOT promoting unscriptural worship; I AM promoting assemblies that truly worship the Lord, communicate to the church, edify the church and emphasize just how important being together is.    

You might want to ask this question, “Should we stop having Sunday evening services?”    Face two facts:  Sunday night attendance has been going down for years, and you haven’t been attending Sunday night services since the pandemic started.   Why start up something that was dying in the first place, and hasn’t been utilized for 12 weeks.   To me, Sunday night services are a thing of the past.    This is something to think about.  

  •   Assess your Bible classes.   If your congregation is like most, only 50% of your membership attends.    For the past 12 weeks 100% of your congregation may have not attended Bible classes.   I am not advocating doing away from Bible study.   However, this is an opportunity to do it differently when you get back together.    Some are advocating returning the responsibility of teaching children to their parents.    There is material available to help parents teach their children at home.   I would also strong urge leadership to know what their children and adults are being taught.   Some of it is heavily repeated and some areas are totally neglected.    And some printed material is weak and, in some cases has false doctrine.    Why not take some time to review everything.
  •   Assess small groups.   Some congregations already have small groups.  Those who do and those who have trained well, they work well.   While you were not assembling as a whole, several of your members met in smaller groups, many without your knowing.  Definitely families met together.  This crisis also affords you the opportunity to rethink why you have small groups.  You may revise your purposes, add others and delete some.
  •   Assess all of your ministries.   Some of your ministries will die.  Some should die.   New ministries will begin because of a new need.   New needs have surfaced during the crisis.  Assessment of ministries need to be done constantly.   Good stewardship and common-sense demand it.
  •   Assess your church budget.    Let’s face it, the church budget in most cases has been hit hard by this pandemic.   In most cases, members have done a pretty good with their giving the first month of the pandemic.   The second month was/is a disaster.    Some churches have closed their doors forever their giving tanked.   Some are having to make big adjustments.   One thing is for sure, you need to communicate to the congregation the need for them to continue to give during the crisis.   Salaries continue to be paid, bills continue to come in and emergency needs arise.    Members laid off need help.   Community needs offer opportunities to serve and many of these cost money.
  •   Assess your means of communication.    We use eight or nine means of communicating with our members.   A large number of means should be used all the time.    Budwiser and other vice-producing companies spend billions advertising to and communicating with us.  We can’t do less; we must do more.
  •   Assess your staff.    You may have to let someone go because of the money.  You may have to hire someone to do a ministry that now requires a full time staffer.   Someone on staff may have to submit to a new/different job description.   Some of this is obvious and some of it will not.

I’d like to hear from you.   Please share how you are using this crisis to make some needed changes.

Trav

Healthy Body Checklist

Healthy Body Checklist for Churches

  1.   Does 20% or less of your church’s membership do all the work in the church?
  2.   Do you have to beg for volunteers?   (e.g. Bible class teachers, men leading worship)?
  3.   Does a healthy percentage of your members serve others in your community?
  4.   Are your church ministries evaluated at least once a year?
  5.   Do all your congregation’s ministries have intentional purposes?
  6.   Does your congregation provide continual training for members who volunteer?
  7.   Does your congregation express appreciation for those who volunteer and serve?
  8.   The members who volunteer and serve, are they happy in their service?
  9.   Could your members tell someone what your congregation’s core values are?
  10.   Is individual spiritual growth admired, expected, and encouraged?

If you answered either of the first two questions with a “Yes” or any of the other questions with a “No,” the health of your congregation may be compromised.  Please contact me so we can work together to make the health of your church more certain.

What do you do as an involvement coach?

I assist church leaders who are concerned with congregational stagnation by planning and executing a customized plan to assess every member of their non-miraculous gifts, personalities, passions, life skills and life experiences for the purpose of getting them into ministries for which God has designed them.

Contact me and let’s talk on Zoom about a plan for your congregation.

Travis Irwin, involvement coach
423 920 3060
involvementcoach@att.net

involvementcoach@att.net

While Ministry Is Not Normal

During this time of pandemic, many of the church’s ministries are either dormant or limited.  However, this does NOT mean that we can sit idly by as a church or as individuals.  There are many other opportunities for serving others who are members and non-members in our church and community.  Your congregation collectively and individually must learn to be creative and flexible when it comes to serving your members and people in your community.

The pandemic is challenging us on several levels:  our jobs, our shopping, our schooling, our travel, our economy, and church attendance.  However, many of us haven’t thought of how the pandemic has affected and will affect future ministry in the church. This is not a time for neglect but action.

What About Right Now?

Here’s what I suggest to you for your consideration.   Starting today, you need to encourage and equipmem bers to revamp present ministries so they become relevant now.   More importantly, several ministries need to spring up in which individuals or small groups of members can serve.   For examples, your local nursing homes, hospitals, stores, police department, EMS, schools, the local Y and such are full of people that need encouragement.   You can’t go inside and spent time with them but you can do something for them.

More of your ministries, present and future also need to be designed for non-members and for folks in your community.   New ministries should focus on needs of individuals and groups of people in your town.   Individuals should start taking personal responsibility to create ministry and do it.   Individual Christians should not wait for a formal ministry to exist before they serve in some meaningful way. Jesus went about doing good, and so should we.   In a smaller town, members should know just about everybody in town and know some real needs.   In larger towns, the news agencies and newspapers will inform us of opportunities to serve.

Actual ideas on how to serve others: members and non-members

(these can be done by individuals, couples, families, Bible classes, and teams)

Most importantly, as always, Practice all COVID 19 protocol.

Brainstorm alone and with others on the phone and be creative.  Fulfill the new ideas by serving BOTH members and those in your community.

Have parades past houses or nursing homes; get permission first

Caroling – go to members’ homes and sing hymns/favorite ones

Go shopping for others (groceries, medicine, etc. for members or those in the community)

There are dozens of things you can do virtually; however, many older people do not know how to use technology or do not have it.   ZOOM is great for communicating with your members with daily devotionals, Bible classes and worship services.  Use Facebook, Marco Polo and other mediums to communicate also.

Email folks and communicate daily with them

Phone calls that are uplifting and encouraging; show real concern—also ask if there is anything you can for them.  Make regular phone calls.  Some folks will even tell you to call on a certain day every week to check on them.

Visitation through windows at people’s homes or nursing homes (make appointments to do either of these)

Send cards via snail mail (for anniversaries, birthdays, get well, encouragement)

Gifts – small things: soaps, candy bars, toiletries, something cute, etc. leave on the porch or have them mailed to people.   You can loan music CDs and movie DVDs.

Flowers – these could be fresh flowers from your garden

Gift cards they can use on line; we have found food cards are also popular (e.g. Cracker Barrel)

Donate blood.    Have your children color pictures and send/give them to older folks.

Provide meals and leave on porches; you could do the cooking or buy the food

When out and about a cordial greeting is welcomed, and if your face is uncovered, smile–there’s nothing like it.   In fact, some folks paint a smile on their masks.

Don’t overlook vets, the disabled, shut-ins, the vulnerable and widows.  

Do something for local nursing homes and hospital staff (drinks and snacks). Just the other day, someone donated fresh picked greenbeans for a nursing facility. Many residents snapped the beans and got to eat them. What joy that brought to those residents.

Do something for the local police department, fire fighters, EMS (meal, snacks, cards and notes of support and appreciation, etc)

Do yard work for folks.   Do home repairs for people.

Donate money to worthy causes especially those that help people during these difficult times.

If you are able bodied, it doesn’t matter how young or old you are—you should be willing to help

If you are not able-bodied, you can pray and encourage those who are serving or possibly donate funds that can used to help others.

Do more study on-line for more ideas

Note:  at the end of July the government $ runs out; what will people do then? And, whether our government gives people money or not, these opportunities to serve remain.

Start now preparing to help folks in and out of the church.

Introducing “Involvement Coach”

I assist church leaders who have concerns about congregational stagnation in creating and executing a customized plan to assess each member in spiritual gifts, personalities and life skills and experiences for the goal of getting all members involved in ministries best suited for them.

Contact me today so we can start working on a plan for your congregation.

Travis Irwin

423 920 3060

involvementcoach@att.net

How Do You Move the Brethren from the Sitting Position to the Serving Position?

Involvement Coach exists to assist churches and church leaders in moving church members from the sitting position to the serving position.    As important as sitting and worshiping are, there comes a time in every Christian’s life when he or she should be serving others.    We call this Christian maturity.

Every Christian has been blessed with a non-miraculous spiritual gift, passions, life experiences, a personality and other blessings that they are to be using to serve others.    We help Christians discover how God has created them for His purpose and for Ministry.

Contact me today so I can design a plan for your congregation.

Travis Irwin, Athens, TN involvementcoach@att.net

423 920 3060

Minister leads Widowhood Workshops

Dean Miller

Dean Miller knows firsthand how difficult life can be after the death of a spouse.


Dean Miller has preached the Gospel all his life. 

At 67, he shares a message of hope for widows and widowers. This ministry was born out of the loss of his wife and seeks to lift others and himself out of the depths of sadness and depression. 

Miller served churches in Tennessee and Ohio for over 45 years. For 33 of those years, he ministered to the Hartville Church of Christ in Ohio.

A 1976 graduate of Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson,Tenn., Miller married Ruth Ann, his high school girlfriend, at 19. After 33 years of marriage, Ruth Ann was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and suffered eight years of decline. She died Christmas Day 2013 after 41 years of marriage.

After struggling to find himself and his place in a new world of singlehood, Miller began speaking and teaching on widowhood.

In 2014, he launched Widowhood Workshop as a part-time ministry with his family’s help. This year, he transitioned to full-time widowhood ministry under the oversight of the LaVergne Church of Christ in Tennessee.

Dean has three daughters, Michelle Johnson, Melissa Cere (husband Tony) and  Deanna Johnson (husband Chris), and five grandchildren.


Given the extreme environment and isolation that many are experiencing during the COVID-19 crisis, what are some specific actions we can take to support the widowed? 

This crisis magnifies an already existing problem — social disconnect and isolation. The most effective ministry now may be in using the human voice. One widow shared with me, “It gets old just talking to the dog, because she doesn’t always answer me.” 

Call them or FaceTime them. Have a list of things to talk with them about. That conversation will likely reveal their needs. Inquire about their eating habits. Drop food off at their house. Have children tape a picture to their window. Do a version of caroling from their front yard or porch. Do not ask them what they need. Just do things that will let them know they have not been forgotten.

Besides understandable grief at one’s loss, what other emotions do widowed persons experience? 

Loneliness is almost always the first emotion discussed in my workshops because attendees commonly associate this with widowhood. The loneliness is unparalleled because marriage is the most precious and intimate of human relationships.

“Do not ask them what they need. Just do things that will let them know they have not been forgotten.”

TWEET THIS

Uncertainty is another feeling. That uncertainty can fester and turn into fear. Questions about the future can be so overwhelming that one begins to doubt their ability to cope.

Going out in public in a “coupled” world, when you are no longer part of a couple, creates social awkwardness. Anger is common and often targets medical professionals, the departed spouse, even God. Then there is a loss of one’s identity. Previously one was a wife or a husband, half of a whole. Now that whole no longer exists, so who are you? A wide range of emotions is often experienced.

What special needs do the widowed have? 

They need not to be forgotten. How many churches even know how many widowed members they have and who they are? Our long- term care leaves much to be desired. 

One brother observed that we are good at the three C’s: cards, condolences and casseroles. After that, everybody goes home, but only one goes to their home alone. Widowed people are often socially deprived.Widows need people who minister to them, long after the cemetery, by presence in their lives. 

People minister by the “laying on of ears.” There is nothing like the deafening silence in a widowed person’s house at night, especially in the long winter nights. Then, there are those special days when life after loss is more difficult: birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. Forgotten translates into feeling forsaken.

What about widowhood do we all need to be sensitive to? 

Please don’t ever tell a widowed person, “I know how you feel,” because we don’t. Life’s losses help us appreciate another’s struggle or even empathize, but to say, “I know how you feel” can almost be offensive. 

Also, respect the personal nature of the grief journey. They are going through something they have never experienced. Their behaviors may seem out of character. Healing may take much longer than anticipated. Don’t push. Just walk with them in their grief journey, no matter what, no matter how long.

Does widowhood challenge faith? 

It certainly can. The loss of a beloved mate can shake one to their spiritual core. Why did God do this? Or why did he permit this? We may question why we feel so awful, knowing our mate is at home with the Lord. Don’t I have enough faith?

“The loss of a beloved mate can shake one to their spiritual core.”

TWEET THIS

We can become internally conflicted like the father who brought his troubled son to Jesus: “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). It’s not just the loss that can challenge our faith but the difficulty of living daily with the reality of the loss. 

Our “feeler” and our faith aren’t always on the same page. Sadly, we are sometimes inclined to give our feelings more credence than our faith. Loss is not a choice, but how we respond to it is. Loss can be what drives us to our knees. It can prompt us to more passionately seek the Lord than ever before. Faith tried can also grow and become stronger (1 Peter 1:6-7James 1:2-4).

How can churches serve the daily needs of the widowed? 

Educate families regarding their responsibility to be the first line of ministry (1 Timothy 5:3-16). However, to minister effectively, education has to be provided to those families about grief, especially the grief experienced in spousal loss. 

It pains me to see widowed people sitting alone in our assemblies. As strange as it may seem to the inexperienced, church can be a really hard place for the widowed to go. It’s a blunt reminder of loss. What sweet words: “May I sit with you today?” Help them find a ministry. Often, the person left behind was engaged in a ministry with their spouse. 

What is their place in the church now that they are involuntarily single? Launching active local widowhood ministries is so important. These ministries can provide the encouragement widows and widowers need. They help rebuild social networks and even provide that ministry “fit” so important after loss.

Did widowhood change your relationship with your children and grandchildren? 

Yes. It brought us closer together, even though we have always been separated geographically. 

One evidence of that is the Widowhood Workshop ministry. We call it our “family passion project.” All 11 of us are working together in this ministry doing different things, even the five grandchildren. 

They make door prizes for the workshops and serve attendees at our annual summer Widow/Widower Retreat in Middle Tennessee. We talk freely about “Nana” anytime we are together. We have chosen to have our loss bind us together even more closely. 

WEBSITE: widowhoodworkshop.com

From The Christian Chronicle, June, 2020.    

Dean Miller was a key note speaker at the 4th Annual Church Involvement Conference.

Where Does Ministry Fit into the Scheme of Things in Your Congregation?

Where is Involvement in the Scheme of the Christian Life?

Church leadership is constantly challenged to meet the spiritual needs of the sheep of their congregation.    They take their positions seriously and want to be good stewards of those under their guidance.

On top of this is the knowledge that there is so much Christians need to know to grow spiritually.     Church leaders hear the same sermons the sheep do every week and they are like church members at times—they are overwhelmed.

First, I must say that the Lord neither gives us too much information nor does He expect too much.   His main concern is reconciliation and growth.   Peter as he closes his second letter says that we should continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).   Having been born again, as babes we are to grow and the church is to equip us in this endeavor (Eph.4:11).

Where does involvement in church ministry fit into the scheme of things related to personal spiritual growth?    Simple put, the Lord has exemplified several areas of discipline wherein we grow more into His likeness and we also grow closer to Him.    Ministry is one of the many of these.   Others include things with which we are more familiar:  prayer, study, mediation, solitude, fasting, giving, teaching, suffering, fellowship, rest, imitating the Father, etc.    Ministry (serving others, bearing fruit, being involved in ministry) should be a part of any list of Christian disciplines.

The basis of this is that Jesus came to serve not to be served and He came in the form of a servant (Matt.20:28; Phil.2:4ff) and we are to imitate Him (1 Peter 2:21).   Jesus is forgiving, kind, gentle, patient.   He is Savior, Redeemer, the Anointed One of God, He is the Alpha and Omega, the King of kings and the Lord of lords.   He is the good shepherd, the vine, the light of the world and the resurrection and life.   But He is also a servant.   Without this He would not have died.

In answer to the original question, ministry is one of many ways of emulating Jesus and growing spiritually.   It is one of many ways of drawing us closer to the Lord.  It is one of many ways of showing love for the Father, for fellow/sister Christians and for our neighbors.

With this question answered, I will make two suggestions to church leaders:

  •  Consider hiring a spiritual growth minister who will guide the church to grow in all of these areas.    These are sometimes called “Discipling Ministers.”
  •  I can help you with the “ministering” or “serving” part of this and I would love that opportunity.   If I can assist, please contact me.   

Trav

My Congregation’s Purpose

Can My Local Congregation Know God’s Purpose?

Yes!   How?   Two simple answers:

Your congregation can know God’s general purpose for them.    It is to reach the lost and make disciples and to help Christians grow spiritually (Eph.3:9-11; Matt.28:19-20; Eph.4:11-15; Acts 16:2).   If more congregations did these two things, the church would be growing numerically and spiritually.     But many congregations have no plan to carry out the Great Commission.  The mission of the church is NOT to assemble but to transform lives with the gospel of Christ.  

Your congregation can discover the greatest real needs in the church and design ministry to meet those needs.   This is easily done.   You will have to know your people and their needs.   You can also ask members what they feel the needs are.  When you discover the needs, you have a pretty good idea what God’s purpose is for your congregation:  to meet these needs.  The goal of every such ministry is to promote spiritual growth.

Your congregation can discover the greatest real needs in the community and design ministry to meet those needs.   I may be able to save you a lot of time with this one because I’ve done the foot work and I’ve talked with other churches who did what I did.   I’ve talked with the chief of police, school officials, city council members, state representatives and senators, city and county mayors and they all say the same thing:   the family is falling apart and there is great drug abuse.   We can create ministries that promote solid families and help those who are addicted.    These ministries can be preventive or corrective in nature.  Above all, they should be evangelistic; only Jesus can solve all the family and addiction issues in our culture.

I think it is also vital that members of your congregation discover how God has designed them for these purposes.   I am of the opinion that when members discover how God has designed them for ministry and when they know the needs of the members and the citizens of their locale, they will see a clear vision/purpose for their congregation.   If your members have no clue as to their personal purposes in life, then how in the world would they ever see how they fit into God’s purpose for the local church?   Both are necessary.

If you are interested in our SERVE Ministries inventories, please contact me at travisirwin@att.net.   God bless.  

Our next SERVE Ministries Workshop is November 1 & 2. For more information please contact me at 423 920 3060.

Trav

May I Know My Life’s Purpose?

Can I Know God’s Purpose for My Life?

Yes.   And I would like to think that every Christian would want to know what God’s purpose is for their lives.   However, many Christians do not think it is important to discover this.  This is a loss for them, the church and the world.

How do I come to know God’s purpose for me?

First, you can know the general purpose of why you are alive and why you are here.   Colossians 1:16 says of Christ, that he is creator all things:  everything was created BY Him and FOR Him.   Every one of us is here FOR Him.   Life is not about US; it is about HIM.   We are here to please Him and glorify Him and to love Him fully/totally  (2 Cor.5:9; 1 Cor.10:31; Matt.22:37-40).   This applies to Christians and non-Christians alike.

Second, you can know your specific purpose for life by discovering your spiritual gift(s).    For example, if you have the gift of service, you know that you should be serving. The point is the very definition of the gift you have tells you something about your specific personal purpose.  If you have the gift of evangelism, you ought to be busy talking to others about the Lord.  If you have the gift of administration/leadership, you should be leading in some way.  If you have the gift of teaching, you should be teaching.   If you have the gift of giving you would be giving.   Your gift in some very real sense defines your specific mission in life.   However, knowing your passions brings all of this into greater focus.

Third, you can know your specific purpose for life by discovering your PEOPLE passions and your THINGS passion.

Your “people” passion and your “thing” passion will tell you WHOM you should be serving and HOW you should be serving them.   These two pieces of information bring into focus, even in greater detail, God’s specific purpose for your life.  A young lady said that she had the gift of compassion.  She then told me she loved older people and she loved to cook for them.   I think God’s purpose for her is to cook meals for older folks, in this case, lonely older people.   In the process, she brings joy and hope into many lives.

I think having a ‘coach’ can be helpful in assisting Christians to find out this vital information.  But alot of this is just good old common sense. There is not rock science. God doesn’t work that way.

My greatest concern is that so often we are busy with so many distractions we don’t see the importance of this GREAT fact.   If you would like to discover your spiritual gift and passions, please email me and I’ll send you the necessary inventories. travisirwin@att.net

Our next SERVE Ministries Workshop is November 1 & 2. It is an intense 13 hour workshop training you and your church on how to do involvement. Contact me at 423 920 3060 for more information.

 Trav

Involvement Theory & Reality

Involvement Theory & Reality

I am a firm believer that God supplies all our needs (cf.Phil.4:19).   I am also a firm believer that the Lord supplies everything we need to do His work (cf. Eph.4:9-11; et al) in our local congregations.    

Both of these put together simply mean that the work (that which needs to get done) of each congregation, in theory, should get done.   In other words, there are enough people, gifts, passions, life skills, ministry experience and personalities to get everything done to help a church run smoothly and grow both numerically and spiritually.   In some very real sense, we shouldn’t have to use the word “need” in the church.   Every ‘need’ should be covered by her members.   In some sense, we shouldn’t have to ask or beg for volunteers.

However, this is not reality.   Reality is that many times we have a shortage of volunteers for various ministries in the church (e.g. men leading worship, child care, teachers, etc.).   This is true of my congregation and we have exceptional members.   For some ministries, we are constantly asking (I don’t like the word ‘begging’) and requesting more volunteers.   I am convinced that the ‘man power’ is in the pews (theory) but in reality, not all members are volunteering to fill in where we are deficient (reality).   Why is this?

Some members have proper boundaries.   Some folks know their limitations; they are not going to overcommit themselves to their personal detriment or the detriment of their marriages or families.   These folks have limited themselves to a certain number of ministries and no more.   They refuse to overcommit.  I cannot argue with this.  I do, however, applaud it.    Do I wish they would do more?  Sure, especially when it comes to doing what others apparently do not wish to do.  However, this is not fair.   Everyone of us needs boundaries.

Some members don’t know how God has blessed them for ministry.   Some members have not taken the time or expended the energy needed to discover how the Lord has designed them for ministry.    As a result, they may or may not be involved in any ministry.   I believe, if they knew how God designed them, they would be likely to join the fellowship of ministry in the local church.   We are a priesthood of believers who are living sacrifices.

Some members don’t feel any obligation to serve in any capacity.    This is an interesting point.   Yes, there are some members who seriously do not feel that have any obligation or responsibility to serve in any capacity.  You ask, “How could anyone feel this way?”   Please allow me to explain.   Some feel no obligation because they have not been taught that we each have this obligation or privilege.   Some of us feel this way because we feel like we’ve already fulfilled our obligation when we were younger.  I’ve heard many older members say this especially those with children that they taught when younger.  I really don’t see anything in the Bible about retiring from ministry at any age no matter our circumstances.    Some members are the thorny soil of Jesus’ parable of the four soils.  They are so busy with work, play, sports, recreation, travel, family, hobbies, possessions, friends, gadgets, toys, etc. etc. they don’t have time or desire to serve.   Some in their spiritual immaturity are irresponsible and think the church exists for them.  They have not gotten to the spiritual development point where they actually bear any fruit for the Lord. They have either forgotten or never heard that they were created by Christ and for Christ.   All we can do is continue to educate and exhort and hope they change.

Some of them need to be asked.   In one of my articles (Why Some Members are Not Involved) I mention this reason.    Some folks simply need to be asked.   We shouldn’t prejudge them thinking they would not be interested.   We need to give them the benefit of the doubt and ask them for their help.

There may be other reasons (excuses) that members have.  I cannot think of one that will stand up in God’s court.   No matter our age, our gender, our health, our income, our education, our experience, our Bible knowledge, we should be serving in some capacity.

But this is theory; more important this is what the Lord expects.   We have been recreated in Christ for good works.   We are His masterpiece created in Christ for good deeds.  The ideal is that theory becomes reality.   And, it does when Christ becomes Lord of our lives.

Trav

Page 2 of 12

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén