How to Get Church Members Involved
Highly Effective Ways To Get Church Members Involved. The work that the church is called to do is great, and in order for the church to operate at its full potential, total membership involvement is essential. The work cannot be left up to a selected few. In Luke10:2, (KJV), we read, “Therefore said he unto them, the harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye, therefore, the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.”
Praying for Laborers
In the times of the early church, the work to spread the gospel to all the world was too much for just a few disciples, so Jesus assigned seventy to go on the mission field in pairs.
This was Jesus’ way of increasing the human resources for the mission and He still told the disciples to pray for more laborers. It would, therefore, be remiss of the church to not tap into this same power and seek God’s intervention in providing engaged members for his ministry.
In Ephesians. 6:18, we are told, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” It is necessary to seek God’s input, after all it is his work, so he will provide laborers, mission-minded ones who are eager to be involved.
We have to trust God to provide capable and willing members for the church ministry.
The Church is a Family
When Christ spoke about his kingdom, we can sense a familial undertone running through his messages. The body of Christ is meant to be a family, which has spilled over into the way we refer to ourselves: brother and sisters.
As a family, the intention is that we will band together and do our Father’s will but as has been observed in many churches, this is not always the case. Too often the work and ministry of the church fall on what some may perceive as being “the willing minority” while others are content to just watch from the side-lines.
This may not always be the case. There are members in the body of Christ who simply need some guidance or prompting as it relates to increasing their participation. Let’s explore five of the most effective ways to get church members involved in the ministry of the church.
Cast the Vision: Make it Clear
Properly articulating the church’s mission and vision one way to help members see the opportunities available for their involvement in the church. In this way, they can fully embrace the concept and can see how they fit in, and how exactly they can contribute.
The mission handed down to the church is to, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew.28:19-20 (KJV)
While everyone will understand that this is the overarching commission of the church, the church needs to break this down into smaller, more applicable objectives that will not only pique the interest of the members but will also allow them to understand that they have the opportunity to be involved in something greater, a greater mission, given by Jesus Himself.
Share The Need
It is important to highlight the need for member involvement. One strategy for doing this is by emphasizing what could be accomplished if the members became more involved. This approach projects a vision and helps people to understand the end result and give them a practical outcome to work towards.
Everyone loves a happy ending and if members are made to clearly understand the potential impact of their involvement, then they will be motivated to get the work done.
The truth is that with total membership involvement there are unlimited possibilities for the Holy Spirit to use men and women for service.
It is also necessary to implement the systems and processes for members to become involved, clear, and structured processes so that after being fired up about the mission, members are not discouraged from becoming involved due to a tedious and unclear process.
- Structured Processes
- Necessary Training
Teach and Preach Witnessing
If you’ve been in the church for any number of years, you may be familiar with the term witnessing. We often preach witnessing but how much time do we devote to teaching it?
Taking the time to simplify the reality of witnessing, and the simplicity of being representatives of Christ in their homes and neighborhoods is to be explained and demonstrated to believers.
When members are involved in getting their family and friends to become members of the church, they themselves become more invested in the church and will more likely be actively involved.
Witnessing to Family
One such example was seen during Christ’s ministry on earth. When Jesus called Andrew, Andrew, in turn, called his brother, Peter, first. John 1:41: “The first thing he did was to find his brother Simon. He said to him, “We have found the Christ!” Someone once said, “In life, the only place to start from is where you are, for there is no other place to begin.”
Encourage the members to begin making disciples in their homes and among their friends. With a personal investment in the lives of those they are witnessing to, they will be effectively involved in the church work. However, before they are sent out, the members themselves need to be empowered.
Even as the church prepares its members, the Holy Spirit will enable the willing members to become powerful witnesses. Romans 10:15 (KJV) tells us: “And how shall they preach, except they are sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”
The Holy Spirit is standing to support the work of the church. We are also reminded in Act.1:8 (KJV), “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost comes upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
” The Holy Spirit wants to partner with the members, so it is necessary to create opportunities and reward systems if necessary for the members to be involved in witnessing. Once they become a part of this mission to bring others to Christ and once they own this mission, they will automatically become more involved.
Create Strong Bonds
Some would assume that a church will automatically be united based on its mission, and the fact that the members are followers of Christ. In reality, though this is rarely the case as members join the church from different walks and stages of life, with multiple personalities, attitudes, and a variety of needs and sometimes personal baggage.
Therefore, it is necessary to engage members on a social level, addressing one of their most basic needs, the need to belong.
The church has to be deliberate in planning events and activities that allow the members to relax and to feel like they are a part of a family.
These may range from dinners, beach trips, socials, sports days and other events that address a social need in as much as worship sessions address a spiritual need.
This feeling of belonging then prods them into becoming move involved in a general way as they will feel appreciated and loved. In the same way, it is necessary to address the other needs of the members and to be of service to each other.
The Bible reminds us in Galatians 6:10, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” Paul exhorts us to treat our members well.
Many times we seek to rally the members to participate in outreach activities and the response is poor and listless because there are no “in-reach” activities.
Members lack the drive to give, as one cannot give what one doesn’t have. The church should create opportunities for members to be of service to each other and seek to address each other’s needs as far as possible, only then will there be unity among the members, and when in one accord, there will be total member involvement.
Spiritual unity is just as integral to getting members involved. As was experienced on the day of Pentecost, only when the disciples were in “one accord” did the Holy Spirit descend on them.
“These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.” Act. 1.14 (KJV) From this we can certainly learn that
when we unite in prayer and worship, the Holy Spirit will join with us in the work of the gospel and members will be involved even as they are drafted by the Holy Spirit to finish the work of the gospel.
Empowered members will not be able to sit quietly on the side-lines as they will become fired up for ministry and even where there are no opportunities, they will create their own ministry, as they seek to do the bidding of the Holy Spirit. They will be like Jeremiah who “felt like there was fire shut up in his bones.” Jeremiah. 20:9 (KJV)
Acknowledge and Maximize Spiritual Gifts
Tap into the different spiritual gifts and the strengths of the individual members; we cannot stress this enough.
Too many times, in an effort to “fill positions” we simply assign persons to different roles with no real thought for their individuality and we end up with lackluster leaders and even less membership involvement.
The Bible aptly describes the church as the body of Christ with different members; as it was a body made of different parts. “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ.” 1 Corinthians. 12:12 (KJV)
Just as our body parts have different roles to play and our eye cannot hear, neither can our mouth walk, it means that within the body of Christ, different members have assigned roles, as they have been equipped by the Holy Spirit, roles that others may not be able to effectively fill.
The Bible also reminds us that even the body parts that seem feeble, serve an important role. Similarly, even our members who appear “feeble” and not as gifted as others, even they have a part to play and it is important that the church clearly outline how each member can contribute according to their gifts.
1 Corinthians. 1:11 (KJV) tells us, “But all these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” This verse follows an outline of different gifts that are given to members by the Spirit including that of wisdom, knowledge, faith, and healing.
Ephesians. 4:11-16 (KJV) also lists spiritual gifts that God has given to his church including apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers, and others. With this knowledge, and with an understanding that God has given gifts to every man, the church must seek to engage the members where they are strongest.
“Those who have the oversight of the churches should select members of ability and place them under responsibilities, at the same time giving them instruction as to how they may best serve and bless others.”
The church’s leadership, therefore, needs to help members to identify their gifts and then create ministries within which they can serve and further develop these gifts.
This will ensure total involvement on the part of members as they will be able to contribute to the mission by doing something that they are good at, something that the Holy Spirit will continually empower them to excel at, for the sake of the gospel.
As we consider the disciples, we realize how different they were: Andrew was the social, friendly one who befriended the little boy with the loaves and fishes.
Peter was the loud and boisterous one, but a natural leader. Matthew, the tax collector was the detail-oriented and meticulous one, and the assessment could go on, but these disciples, the pillars of the early church were united in their diversity and this brought immense success to the work of the church.
Once the church begins to embrace the differences of the members and promote unity amid diversity, then and only then, will members take up their rightful place and get involved.
Small Group Ministries
It is very easy for members to get lost in the “system” or to slip through the cracks, especially in large churches.
Some members may even want to be involved but feel overwhelmed with the process and may not make the effort to reach out to the leaders who may appear too busy with the “bigger” concerns that tend to plague large congregations.
With the formation of small groups, each member will have a voice and it will be more difficult for quieter and less engaged members to hide behind the outspoken and active ones.
Various Ministry Suggestions / People Can Serve
- Tech/ Video Systems
- Children’s Church
- Family Counseling
- Missions – Local
- Missions – Global
- Visitation – Visitors
- Visitation – Hospitals
- Young Adults
- College Adults
- Food Ministry
- Clothing Ministry
- Substance Abuse Ministries
- Vacation Bible School
- Summer Carnivals
- Growth Workshops
- Guest Speaker Ministries
- Church Bookstore
- Church Coffee / Welcoming Ministry
- CD / DVD Copying for Giving Out
- Outreach Events
- Advertising Ministry
- New Christian Education
- Yearly Ministry Fair
In small groups, through personal interaction, members can understand that there is a part for each one to play in the grand scheme of things, and will be more propelled to do their part.
In such a setting it is easier to hold each other accountable and to check up on each other in the event of a lapse in faith or during moments of weakness.
Members become more eager to participate in church programs, worship, evangelistic, and outreach services as through small groups, they will feel like they are personally invested in the church.
Hebrews 10: 24-25 states, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
This text suggests that during small meetings members can provoke one another or motivate each other to love and to do good works. It is in these small group meetings that persons can be inspired through heart-to-heart talks and personal testimonies. Persons are able to share their struggles and be encouraged in the faith.
Matthew 18:20 also tells us, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
This suggests that once there is a gathering of even two like-minded believers discussing anything concerning God, his presence and power will be with them. As members share and encourage each other into good works, God will bless the efforts and the members will be more involved, having discovered their calling to the great gospel work.
The work of the church is great and to complete it, all hands are needed on deck. Applying the above-mentioned strategies will effectively lead to increased member involvement and thus increase the human resource capacity within churches, for the execution of its God-given mission.
When I served in the Leadership, we made it standard that when any family came and placed membership with us, was converted and became a member of God’s Family. We would meet with them and their whole family. We did this to welcome them but also to be able how we could serve and Teach and help them to grow in their walk.
The second Main Reason we want to see where the spirit had gifted them and then to see where they could serve. We cast the Vision and wanted to help them to take their place. We felt that God had brought them to us to Grow and serve him.