By Dennis Gulledge
In the book of Nehemiah we are introduced to people who had "a mind
to work." This is the same as saying that they had the spirit of
involvement. It takes involvement to get a job done (Nehemiah
2:17-18). It takes involvement for the church to grow. Long before men
devised a scheme for "Ministers of Involvement" God had a plan for
The spirit of involvement demonstrated here is opposed to the spirit
of laziness, fear, contentedness, hopelessness, apathy, and
indifference. Enemies try to provoke a spirit of hopelessness in us
just as they did in Nehemiah's day (4:1-3), but, we can respond to
discouragement by praying (4:4). It is easy to provoke a spirit of
non-involvement in ourselves with negative thoughts and self doubt.
Interest and enthusiasm are contagious commodities as are their
opposites, stagnation and non-involvement. Leaders can lead, urge,
encourage, and provide the example for greater involvement in the Lord's
work, but, until people "catch fire" with interest and zeal there is
little else they can do.
One of the problems we face in the church today is that of a
spectator mentality. Someone has suggested that most congregations are
composed of people who are "100% willing" - 10% are willing to work and
90% are willing to let them. No doubt all of us want to see the Lord's
work prosper and grow, but, what are we doing to help? We all want to
see the lost taught the gospel, the sick visited, the needy relieved,
the weak encouraged, and the body of Christ edified, but who is
personally involved in any of these areas? Are you? We have no
aversion to being involved in clubs, sports, scouts, organizations,
social interests, and hobbies, however, how much will we commit
ourselves to do in the greatest cause on earth?
The spirit of involvement, or, the "mind to work" comes from the following areas:
1. Everyone feeling the need to be involved. That doesn't come from one
sermon being preached on involvement. It comes from the spirit of
Christ being in us (Matthew 20:28). There is no reason for anyone to
feel that they are not a part of the work of the church (Romans 12:45).
2. Everyone willing to do his part in the work. After the dispensers of
discouragement had done their work in Nehemiah's day, the Jews returned
"every one unto his work" (4:15). Often members of the church are not
willing to do the work of which they are capable. What do we need to
make us willing workers?
3. Everyone realizing the seriousness of his task. How often do we
think that any contribution that we might make is of minimal
significance? We are all in this work together and we need the mind to
work rather than the mind to fight, argue, and tear down (cf. Titus
When people work together they grow together. The church that is busy at work is busy at growing. How busy are we?
- Dennis Gulledge; via the weekly bulletin of the Harrisburg church of
Christ in Harrisburg, IL. You may visit their website at