For years in church life, we’ve raised awareness about the need to get people connected to the life of the church. We’ve created networks of small groups, run ministry fairs, used our voice on social media, and had people fill out connection cards.
And all of this is good.
However, I believe there’s a sticky element that’s sometimes missing in our involvement efforts. We’ve asked people to be involved, but we’ve shied away at asking them to be invested.
The definition of the word involved is to be “connected or concerned with something or someone” (a good quality to have at church, yes?). Don’t hear me wrong… people being involved at church is good. It’s the starting point.
But listen to this. The definition of the word invested is to “devote one’s time, effort or energy toward a particular undertaking, with the expectation of a worthwhile result.” Most definitions boldly include the investment of money, and personal possessions.
Here’s my point. There’s a big difference between asking someone to be involved, and leading them to be invested. Many times we ask people to be connected to church, but we stop short of asking them to invest themselves into it. And I’d make the argument that there is a greater stick factor in investment.
When you are invested into something, it moves from being someone else’s property… to your own. You own it. You now have a stake in its success. There’s no more “you and me”…it’s now “we.”
Acts 2:42-47 says this, “42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
The early church was better (and bigger) because of investment, not just involvement.
My church is better because my pastor regularly asks our team in INVEST in the life of the church. We’re not shy about tithing and giving…we celebrate it. We boldly ask people to host small groups, not just attend. We have people job shadow on a ministry team at Starting Point, which could theoretically be their second weekend at church!
Not everyone will invest, and that’s OK. But don’t shy away of asking for it. When people have a stake, they stick.