Hebrews 10:25 “And let us not neglect our meeting together as some people do but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near.”
This is a huge concept that shows us the importance of being part of a fellowship or community of believers. Fellowship is so important. It reminds us that…
WE BELONG IN GOD’S FAMILY WITH OTHER BELIEVERS
When the early church is described, the word family is often used. Jesus Himself calls His disciples “brothers.” Those relationships are so special. If you have an actual sibling, you understand this. As believers we are brothers and sisters and should relate to each other in the same way. We should share with each other – pray with each other – care for one another. We have the same Father and that Father has drawn us together in ONE FAMILY. The fact is…we need each other.
Galatians 6:10 “Whenever you have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone, especially to our Christian brothers and sisters.”
We belong to each other. Look at what Paul had to say to those in Rome
Romans 12:5 “in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another.
There is a beautiful uniqueness to the family of God. We need to be part of a family.
Ray Ortland says, “The Christian who is not committed to a group of other believers for praying, sharing, and serving so that he is known, as he knows others, is not an obedient Christian. He is not in the will of God. However vocal he may be in his theology, he is not obeying the Lord.”
In the New Testament, the word “church” is used 100-105 times. 98 of those times, it is in reference to the local assembly of believers. The emphasis is almost always on the local gathering of believers. So WE need each other. We need to BELONG.
WE NEED ENCOURAGEMENT TO GROW SPIRITUALLY
We can’t grow spiritually on your own. We need each other. Look back in Hebrews at Hebrew 10:24 “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds…”
We need fellowship with other believers to encourage us in love and to encourage us to do what God has called us to do. You can’t get that on your own.
FELLOWSHIP LEADS TO INVOLVEMENT
At some point in our current church culture, we have disregarded the importance of church attendance and involvement. When we do this, church simply becomes a “spectator sport.” We begin to sit back and watch others do all the work. Our preferences become more important than the mission. When we are a part of a community, we will be encouraged to attend and to be involved in the ministry and mission of the church. The work of the local church should be shared by the WHOLE body.
Edward Everett Hale, the former Chaplain of the U.S. Senate said it well, “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.”
All of us who claim to be Christians have a responsibility of involvement in the kingdom work. CONSISTENT ATTENDANCE IN A LOCAL CHURCH LEADS TO MINISTRY WHICH LEADS TO GREATER IMPACT. The more you show up, the more likely you are to be mobile in ministry. In other words, the church is greatly hindered in its effectiveness when every member is not involved. So what does Involvement do for the church as a whole?
INVOLVEMENT MAXIMIZES THE CHURCH’S EFFECTIVENESS
The work of the church is eternally important. God has gifted each believer with gifts to use within the church so the church can be effective in the mission of making disciples and sending out witnesses. If every person in the church was involved in the ministry of the church we would maximize the church’s potential to accomplish this mission. As individuals we have to be willing to get out of the chairs and out of the comfort zone of preferences. When we do this, MORE people will hear the gospel, MORE people will be ministered to, MORE people will be taught the Word and MORE people will grow in their spiritual maturity.
INVOLVEMENT MAXIMIZES THE SPREADING OF THE GOSPEL
Matthew 9:37-38 “Then He (Jesus) said to His disciples, ‘the harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”
If we are involved, our reach to the lost will increase. Often we don’t reach people with the gospel because those that are working are getting bogged down in the work that should be shared. It is common sense that the more people that are working will allow the church to do more – reach more.
INVOLVEMENT MAXIMIZES SERVICE IN THE CHURCH
When churches lack involvement from members there is only so much that the others can do to serve.
There is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to do and Everybody was asked to do it. Everybody was sure Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody would do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.
When we decide not to be a part of the work of the church, it is like a part of our body deciding not to work. It frustrates the rest of the body and makes the rest of the body work harder, making it more difficult for it to maintain the work. Most stats say that in a local church 20% of the members do 80% of the work. Can you imagine the reach of a church that had 100% of the members doing 100% of the work? The church would have more impact, serve more, reach more.
INVOLVEMENT MAXIMIZES SPIRITUAL GROWTH
The Dead Sea is so salty that it contains essentially no life. What accounts for this unusual condition? There are no outlets. A great volume of water pours into the area, but nothing flows out. Many inlets plus no outlets equals a Dead Sea. Churches that have a majority of the congregation that match that description are like the Dead Sea. Many inlets but no outlets. To be vibrant and effective, we must not only “take in” the Word, but we must also “give out” in service and mission to others. Times of taking in are necessary but we must have an outlet to our faith. Is it possible for a church to have members who read the Word, study, take in as it is preached and taught and still be lifeless and productive? YES. The reason is because of a failure to serve and be involved in ministry. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO BE A GROWING BELIEVER AND NOT BE SERVING IN SOME FORM OR FASHION.
Your involvement is a vital HABIT to your growth but also to the growth of the kingdom.
SO are you involved in a local church? Not just attending but actively involved in the ministry of the church? If you are, you will be better for it and the church will be better accomplishing its mission. GET INVOLVED!