Church Growth - Is It My Responsibility?
Aaron J. Dodson
Does the Bible teach that it is only the preachers responsibility for teaching the lost? No. Is it my responsibility to read the Bible and teach it to others? Yes. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with always, even to the end of the age. Amen” (Matthew 28:19-20). Take note of the bolded phrase of the previous verse: “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.” From the moment this command was given to this very minute in time, those who are taught to follow Jesus are commanded to observe all things He had commanded the apostles. One of the things in this very command that He told them to do was to “Go…and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them.” How do we miss that? What makes us think that it’s only the preachers and elders responsibility to do that?
Truth is, there are people that you know that your preachers and elders do not know. There are people that you see that they do not see. There are people you meet that they don’t meet. There are opportunities that you have that they don’t have. A growing church is a church that practices every member evangelism.
Does the Bible teach that it is only the preachers responsibility to visit the sick, shut-in and widows? No. Is it my responsibility to visit our elderly, sick and shut in? Yes. James 1:27 is addressed to “brethren” (James 1:2). “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” James writes telling us “brethren,…visit orphans and widows.” How do we miss that? What makes people think that it is only the preachers and elders responsibility to do that? Jesus Himself tells all of us to visit people and help provide their needs (Matthew 25:31-46). In that context He mentions visiting and helping the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the unclothed, the sick, and the prisoners. When is the last time we visited and helped someone is one of those situations?
When we stand before the Lord at judgment, we will individually give an account to God. There will be no stand-ins for us, nor will any excuse be acceptable. Many want the church at Lay Lake to grow, many want to see young people here, many want to be visited. Question is, who is willing to do the work? Is it only the preachers and elders responsibility? The Bible does not say that we can pay a man to do these things and then that excuses us from serving Jesus in these capacities. Think about it and act upon it. Support our elders and preachers and they will appreciate it. May we work together to serve God! A growing church is a church that practices every member visiting.