Sep.8, 2002

Volume 12 - Number 36     

Some Qualities of the Contributing Member

“And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.” Titus 3:14

John F. Kennedy’s challenge — “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country” - appealed to our sense that it is noble to try to make a worthy contribution to the world we live in. In many areas of human endeavor, people are highly motivated by the desire to “make a contribution.” It ought to be so in the Lord’s work!

Congregations are blessed when they have even a handful of “contributors” - members who are willing to give themselves tirelessly in order to be useful in whatever way they can, to add something worthwhile (however “small”) to the greatest undertaking in history, the Lord’s work. What are some of the characteristics of those who contribute to the work?


In the Lord’s work, much depends on whether we do what we do because we like doing it or because we view it as a duty — it is the difference between want to and have to. Is the spiritual life what “really turns us on”? Is the Lord our “first love”? (Cf. Revelation 2:4)

If we are not as interested as we ought to be in the Lord and His work, the basic reason is probably that we just do not believe it is all that important. What outward indicators are there of our interest?

The truly significant contributions among the Lord’s people are made by those who have more than a passing interest in His work - those who are really attracted to it and fascinated by it - those who are truly concerned about it.


The word “member” (which basically means a constituent part of a whole) can be used more than one way. One meaning is “a person who belongs to a group or organization” - we sometimes speak of being a “member” of the Lord’s church in this sense, as if membership meant nothing more than having one’s name on the roll of the organization.

But in the New Testament, “membership” is membership in the Lord’s body. (Cf. 1 Corinthians 12:12; 12:13-27) The members of a body are functional parts that serve some useful purpose and have some work to do in the body. “Membership” in the Lord’s body is an active thing, rather than passive. Not only are we members of Christ, we are “individually members of one another.” (Romans 12:3-5; cf. Ephesians 4:25)

Modern life militates against significant involvements - in nearly everything, we strive to “keep our options open.” In the Lord’s work, we avoid serious commitments and obligations. We do not want to be “tied down.” We do not see ourselves as attached, connected, etc. We think of the primary responsibilities as belonging to others - and we end up being “peripheral” members. But we make our proper contribution to the Lord’s work when our individual work is properly involved with the work of others in the body as a whole. (Ephesians 4:11-16)

If we get properly involved, we will make a difference for good!


Sometimes it cannot be said that we do what we do in the Lord’s work with much intensity or zeal. Our heart is simply not in it. Sometimes we are not even as intense about the Lord’s work as the Pharisees were about their own. (Cf. Matthew 23:15) Does the word “passionate” describe our level of enthusiasm and fervor?

It is possible to expend great energy (interest) and not accomplish much because the energy is not sharply focused (intensity). Diffused energy does not accomplish much useful work. Do we “focus like a laser beam” on what we are doing spiritually? The “pure in heart” (Matthew 5:8) have eliminated general concerns about many things in order to focus intensely on “one thing.” (Philippians 3:13; cf. Luke 10:41-42)

Tepid, lukewarm intensity is not pleasing to the Lord. (Cf. Revelation 3:15-16) Solomon advised: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.” (Ecclesiastes 9:10)
It takes inner growth to make a worthwhile contribution. (2 Peter 1:5-8)

The Lord wants “profitable” servants. (Matthew 25:30; cf. 2 Timothy 4:11) Paul said, “I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls.” (2 Corinthians 12:15)

When we are gone, how will the world be different for our having been here? What contribution will we have made? Do we have the spiritual qualities that will allow us to make a contribution?




Are you a contributing member?


"The Making of Great Decisions"
Daniel 1:1-8
"There is No Such Thing as a Secret Sin"
Joshua 7:1-26

“Many hands make light work.” Patten




Remember in Prayer


 Wayne Vowell


Mike Weber
Lillian Chambers
Amy Vowell
Viola Morinier
Iva & Lemuel Turner
Art Stapleton
Jeanette Thompson
Frank Small
Bill & Jeanne Sherman
Denny Heimbuch



 Delbert Leavens


Morning Services


Bible Reading:

 Larry Jenson  


 David Rizer  


 Ted Wheeler


Closing Prayer:

 Carl Rigney


Evening Services


Opening Prayer:

 Delbert Leavens



 David Rizer



 Ted Wheeler  

Closing Prayer:

 James Bowman

Our Record - Last Week


Wayne Vowell
Troy Wheeler - Sean Keathley
Kerry Keathley
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