Today's Church is in need of a paradigm shift when it comes to ministry. When we think of the congregation becoming involved in the ministry of the local church- what do we think of? We most often think of 'what' they can do. What committee can they serve on? What Sunday School's need another instructor? What busy work can we assign to make them feel a part of the work of the church?
But how should we answer this question, "Pastor, what could I do to be more involved in the church?" How would you answer this question? I am afraid that most pastors, elders, and church people think in the ways listed above.
"The real work of God is people work- the prayerfully speaking of His word by one person to another- the jobs are never all taken. The opportunities for Christians to minister personally to others are limitless.
So you pause [when asked how one could be more involved in the life of the church], and reply, "See that guy over there sitting on his own?... He's on the fringe of things here... How about I introduce you to him, and you arrange to have breakfast with him [once in a while] and read the Bible together? Or see that couple over there? THey are both very 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? And if you still have time, and want to contribute more, start praying for the people on your street, and then invite them all to a barbecue at your place. That's the first step towards talking to them about the Gospel, or inviting them along to something." (Marshall, Payne; Trellis and the Vine, p.26)
It's interesting to me that replacing the thinking that centers around committees, jobs, and busyness and replacing it with people-centered ministry is a paradigm shift. But it is. Have churches lost the sense of missio ecclesia? Have even Bible believing, Christ honoring Churches replaced Christ exalting people focused ministry with the business model that is so foreign to the Scriptures?
I think we all need to reflect on the purpose of the Church and what God has called the Church to do.