Summary: The involvment of every member is vital to the church’s success.
Principles to Build Upon: Involvement
I heard about an elderly man who went to his doctor for a physical. The doctor checked him out thoroughly. He told the elderly fellow that he was basically in good health for his age, but also gave him some guidelines concerning his lifestyle. A few weeks go by and the doctor is at a restaurant with his wife. The same elderly man comes in with a much younger, beautiful woman. The doctor can’t believe what he’s seeing but sure enough, the old fellow is there and having a grand old time. The doctor walks over to the elderly man and his companion and says, “I thought I gave you some guidelines concerning your lifestyle. How does this fit into my instructions.” The old fellow coughs and then says, “I thought you told me to find a hot mama and be cheerful.” The doctor says, “I must not have checked your hearing well enough. I said, ‘I found a heart murmur. Be careful.”
Somewhere along the line we have missed some of the guidelines. I believe one of those guidelines that the church has missed is regarding how ministry is supposed to work. We have developed a “hireling” system in many churches. In many cases the congregation has become an audience watching the hireling do the ministry. It is a great problem that we view ministry as something that is done to us and blesses us and not something we do to others that blesses others.
Edward Everett Hale, the distinguished poet and former Chaplain of the U.S. Senate, said, : "I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. What I can do, that I ought to do. And what I ought to do, by the grace of God, I shall do."
Yes, we are only one, but I believe if we would begin to understand that each and every person who claims to be a Christian has a responsibility of involvement in kingdom work then we one by one would make a far great impact in the world.
It is my proposition this morning that one of the most important principles that we need to emphasize as the church today is the importance of every member’s involvement in the work of the church. I believe that if each member is involved in ministry and sees themselves as a minister of the church then we will accomplish far more as the church and the kingdom will advance greatly. I have to believe that the church is greatly hindered when every member is not involved.
Text: Ephesians 4:7-16
I. Every Member’s Involvement Maximizes the Church’s Effectiveness
Most people would limit their Christianity to coming to church every now and then and saving all the real work for the preacher and other church leaders. Perhaps there aren’t many that would say that exactly like that, but I am pretty sure there are some that think that way because we still have people who come to church time and time again and never get involved in any work of the church.
Do you believe the work of the church is eternally important?
Do you believe that God has gifted each individual to serve with a variety of talents and abilities?
Do you believe that each Christian has some level of responsibility in the church? I do. This morning I want to make a strong charge to the church here that we become a congregation full of people who do not just come and fill a pew every now and then, but a congregation full of people actually willing to work for the kingdom. We must understand that if each person in the church was involved in the ministry of the church we would maximize the churches potential. However, I believe many people’s unwillingness to get off the pew has handicapped the church and the results are great. Because of that fewer people will hear the gospel, less people in need will be helped, fewer people will be taught the Word of God and brought to maturity in Christ, more people will be hurting and broken and living in sin, more people will die in their sins without ever obeying the gospel. When every member is involved it allows us to do more and to do better in what we do.
A. Maximizes the Church’s Potential For Evangelism
Every member’s involvement maximizes the church’s potential to reach lost people. Certainly I do not need to spend a great deal of time emphasizing the importance of the mission of reaching the lost. I believe that we are not able to reach people like we could because we sometimes get bogged down with necessary work that could be shared. It is common sense that more people working will allow us to do more things. Often times we are all struck doing necessary things, but those things keep us from being out sharing our faith.