Church Involvement – Participation in Kingdom Movements

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When I was hired on at Northwest one of the things the elders wanted me to do was involvement. When I started I really didn’t know what that meant so I got online and did a google search for “church of Christ” and “involvement minister”. I found a half-dozen people who had that title and sent them all emails asking them for advice. Turns out, they didn’t know either!

At that time, I really thought involvement was about getting as many people as possible to show up for all the events of the congregation. Turns out, you can get people to come to something but that doesn’t mean growth is occurring in any meaningful way. That doesn’t mean fellowship activities are bad or that we should stop having church Christmas parties. It does mean that we have to be aware of how what we do advances our purposes as the people of God. It means we have to be purposeful in what we plan. We also have the responsibility of communicating to the congregation why these events were important enough to organize and invite people to participate in.

When we don’t spend time evaluating that, many events happen that really shouldn’t continue. It is better for something to die than for it to continue on for decades without a purpose. If the purpose is getting something to fill a date on the calendar, that doesn’t cut it. I don’t think we should get neurotic making sure we have a scripture to back up every event we do but it does matter that we are purposeful and that we communicate well why we do what we do. When people can see how what we do advances the kingdom of God, we won’t have to twist their arms for them to participate. Notice I didn’t say “for them to come” but “for them to participate” because involvement is more than showing up. Involvement must be about participating in kingdom movements.

7 Responses

  1. I agree that each sponsored activity should have a purpose that furthers the kingdom in some way. Another aspect of church-sponsored activities is planning how the event will be evaluated PRIOR to the event. There should be some thought as to what would be indicators of a successful event. Hopefully there is a committee of planners that sit down (before and) after the event and evaluate it. Some helpful questions may be: Were the indicators present? To what extent were they present? Why were they present or absent? Should the event be continued? Should the evaluation indicators be changed? What would make the event more successful? Thank you for this opportunity.

    1. Now that is real intentionality with great followup that is planned in advance. Too often we get so busy that we get in “just get it on the calendar and get it done mode” without thinking through these things.

  2. You can over analyze events. I’d pay attention to the demographics of the attendees and see how many repeat attendees you get.

    1. Paralysis by analysis for sure. It is good to periodically ask people who things went. They can provide insight that you might not have thought of.

    1. So true. Sometimes, not always, those unexpected responses are exactly what is needed. If all we are seeking is confirmation that we have it all together and that everything we are doing is great, we aren’t really that open to learn and grow.

  3. It’s also important to make sure that each person that is participating in an event, volunteering in a particular role, etc, is called to be involved in that thing. Otherwise you have people serving ineptly (without needed gifts or skills) and just frustrating themselves. But if you can match up the church’s purpose and vision with each individual’s calling or gifting, voila! You get amazing results.

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