How do you get other members to participate?
I am sure it is not unusual for a couple of the members to be doing a lot of the work within the church while others are just sitting around. What can be done to encourage other members to be more involved and participate? The work never ceases and the rewards are enormous.
"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching" (Hebrews 10:23-25).
One of my own flaws is that when I see something that needs to be done, I start working on it. As a result, I'm always overloaded. A few of the other members finally asked me, "Why don't you let us know so we can help?" It turns out to be a good question. We all have a tendency to think that because we see a need, others must see it too. Yet, that isn't always the case.
For a while, I tried asking people to do various tasks, but that didn't work. Other people don't always have the same motivation or drive that I have. The tasks tend to get put off too long.
What I believe is the answer is to invite people to help. We had a classroom that was getting really shabby looking. So I let a number of people know I was going to repaint it. Knowing that it was going to be done, some helped pick out the colors. One went and got the paint. The teenagers helped take the stuff off the walls and moved the furniture. A few took an afternoon or evening to come to help me paint. Another came and helped me with the trim work. Then the older women came and help me put things back. The one constant was that I was involved all the way through. They knew what I was doing and when. I took advantage of all the help that was offered, but the fact remains that I did a lot of the work. But that was okay. I was going to do it anyway, but this way I got a number involved.
As a result, a few of the other men took on projects of their own. One man has been fixing the exterior of the building. Another decided he wanted a month of mowing the lawn. The effort spread.
These are all physical things, but the principle still applies. When you study with someone, invite others to go with you. Not everyone will come, but that's all right, you were going to do it anyway. Just keep on inviting. Keep letting people know what you plan to do when you are going to do it, and that they are welcomed to give you a hand.
The writer of Hebrews said to "consider one another." The word "consider" is translated from the Greek word katanoeo, which means to take careful note or to make a thorough observation. It is the word used for a spy who is sent out to observe the enemy's people or territory. It is also the word for a person who discovers a trickster's sleight of hand methods through careful observation.
So how do you stir up others to love and good works? Observe them very carefully. Get to understand what motivates them and what hinders them. Most often you will find that people just weren't paying attention. They didn't know there was something that needed to be done or that their help would be appreciated. Others have deeper problems, but those can be addressed once you figure out what is the problem.
Therefore, just ask. Plan on getting the work done, but invite others to share the effort with you. Don't be bothered if many decline to help or no one shows up. Tell yourself that you were going to do it anyway, even if you had no help. Then when help is offered you can enjoy it. Eventually, others will learn joy in serving as well through practice and suddenly you'll see the effort spread.