The early church grew (Acts 2:41; 5:14; 6:1,7; 9:31; 11:24). As we read of this growth explosion, we see the key role member involvement played. Christians were spreading the word (8:4), involved in each other’s lives and in the lives of the lost around them. This is such a simple concept, but churches not practicing it are not growing. What is involved in involvement?
I–“I” am the heart of involvement. I must resolve to be involved. I must do my part, for I will give an account for my level or lack of involvement (1 Cor. 3:8).
N–“Negativity” is the enemy of involvement. “I can’t help.” “It won’t do any good.” “I don’t like working with that person.” Listen closely. Involved Christians rather say “I can do” (Phil. 4:13) and “we are well able” (Num. 13:30).
V– “Visitation” is a part of involvement. Matthew 25:34-46 confirms it. Non-Christian visitors, sick, imprisoned, and needy folks need it. Those who do it are richly rewarded, and those who are recipients of it profoundly appreciate it.
O– “Obedience” is the cause of involvement. Faithful Christians believe the commands to make disciples (Mat. 28:19), build up brethren (Rom. 14:19), and meet needs (Js. 1:27).
L– “Love” is the motive of involvement. Paul says good deeds, without love, are profitless (1 Cor. 13:1-3). The counsel of Scripture is “by love serve one another” (Gal. 5:13).
V– “Victory” is the goal of involvement. By being involved, we help others win the victory (Js. 5:19-20), we help the cause of Christ advance, and we aid our own walk in the light that leads to eternal reward (1 Jn. 1:7).
E– “Everybody” is the scope of involvement. What able-bodied Christian is excluded from the work God has given the church? Once, a man did nothing and gave every excuse imaginable. We remember how that turned out (Mat. 25:28-30).
M– “More” is the adjective of involvement. That is, “more involved” and “more people involved.” Has there ever been a church with too many involved? God’s able to do more than we ask or imagine (Eph. 3:20), and He wants to see us always trying to do more for Him!
E– “Evangelism” is the fruit of involvement. Active churches attract the curiosity of the community. Those involved in the church’s work naturally grow more spiritual-minded, and by this grow more bold in sharing the gospel.
N– “Now” is the time for involvement. What in our lives do we definitely know will change between now and the never-seen tomorrow (Prov. 27:1)? Let’s kill the excuses! Resurrect the enthusiasm! Start today!
T–“Teamwork” is the mindset of involvement. We’re to work together. No one man, no staff, no eldership, no group of deacons or others can or should do the work of an entire congregation. The local church is a team.
To become adequately involved, let’s ask three questions.
“What needs doing in this church?”
“Who needs help in doing it?”
“What can I do?”
Be an Isaiah, a child of God who enthusiastically says, “Here am I, send me” (Isa. 6:8)!
Neal Pollard, Bear Valley Church of Christ