Church growth isn’t the pastor’s responsibility. After visiting a church for two months, a man was approached by the pastor after the service. The pastor asked him if he would mind helping in a few areas at the church.

He said, “Look, Pastor, I have a job. I didn’t come to your church to look for more work. Why don’t you just leave me alone?”

The pastor looked at the ground, then at the visitor. “Then I suggest you go to the church three blocks down the road on the corner of Elm Street and Ash Street. That church will be a better fit for you.”

The visitor followed the pastor’s directions to the church, but he noticed the building was vacant. The windows were boarded up, and the grounds were overgrown with weeds. Then he saw a For Sale sign posted near the front door. The pastor had directed him to a dead church, and suddenly he understood the truth behind the pastor’s words: a church cannot survive unless its people are willing to get involved.

Everyone wants to be part of a growing, active church, but few people realize the part they play in making it happen. Time has to be invested by dedicated people so that big events are flawlessly executed. Volunteers are needed to help with small jobs around the church so that the pastor and church leaders are free to concentrate on running the church and meeting the needs of the people. It’s only when those in the pew are willing to do their part that a church is able to move forward and grow.

The growth of your church is entirely up to you. You may have a great pastor who is a strong leader; your church may have ministries for everyone in your community; you may have a beautiful building; you may have a great music program; you may have talented preachers and teachers on staff — but if you aren’t willing to serve, then the church might not last any longer than the first big event it hosts. Do everything you can to help your church succeed because its success is up to you.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder