Imagine a reasonably solid Christian said to you after church one Sunday morning, “Look, I’d like to get more involved here and make a contribution, but I just feel like there’s nothing for me to do. I’m not on the ‘inside’; I don’t get asked to be on committees or lead bible studies. What can I do?”
What would you immediately think or say? Would you start thinking of some event or program about to start that they could help with? Some job that needed doing? Some ministry that they could join or support?
This is how we are used to thinking about the involvement of church members in congregational life — in terms of jobs and roles: usher, Bible study leader, Sunday School teacher, treasurer, elder, musician, song leaders, money counter, and so on. The implication of this way of thinking for congregational members is clear: if all the jobs and roles are taken, then there’s really nothing for me to do in this church. I’m reduced to being a passenger.
However, if the real work of God is people work–the prayerful speaking of his word by one person to another — then the jobs are never all taken. The opportunities for Christians to minister personally to others are limitless.
So you could pause, and reply to your friend, “See that guy over there on his own: That’s Julie’s husband. He’s on the fringe of things here; in fact, I’m not really sure whether he’s crossed the line yet and become a Christian. How about I introduce you to him, and you arrange to have breakfast with him every couple of weeks and read the Bible together? Or see that couple over there? They are both fairly recently converted, and really in need of encouragement and mentoring. Why don’t you and your wife have them over, get to know them and read and pray together once a month?
— from The Trellis and The Vine, by Colin Marshall and Tony Payne, pp. 26-27