When we look at scripture and consider all that it offers, one thing should strike us above all others. The ministry leadership’s business is primarily ministry. The real builders and workers of ministry are those in attendance, the congregation.
If we consider Rahab alone, she had heard of the Israelites from someone (Joshua 2:10). Certainly not a priest who worked at the Tabernacle. When we consider Acts 2 and Peter’s sermon with the conversion of 3000 souls, their unified baptism and acceptance into the Church that had to be done not by Peter, not only by the 11, but by many more. Consider John the Baptist and His ministry in the wilderness. John was preaching repentance, but people flocked to him. John never left his place, others who heard shared the encouragement and invited people (Matthew 3:5-7). The people always went to Jesus because they had heard of Him and the hope he spoke of, not because Jesus personally invited them.
Wherever we look in scripture, we find the work of the ministry being performed by those chosen servants. The work of spreading the word is primarily done by the disciples. The disciples hear the truth of the scripture from God’s chosen servant, the leader of the ministry and invite others to hear.
Building the ministry then is not a ministers responsibility alone. The people grow a ministry. People have to invest themselves in Christ’s work as Christ works to invest himself in them. As their hearts change and their excitement in hope grows, people naturally want to be part of that. The growth of the ministry in numbers is directly tied to the witness of individuals in attendance. The testimony of those in attendance affects the growth of the ministry. The more Christlike and loving the people, the more Christ’s love is seen through them and the more people will want the love of Christ.
If there is any single reason for loyalty to a church, it is this reason. The church is built by the congregation not by the pastor. The pastor is responsible for communicating the truth for heart change through faithful preaching of the word and counsel. Though evangelism is a special gift, witnessing is given to all who believe. The people in the pews are responsible for sharing Christ’s message and evangelizing the people through that testimony. The people are responsible for living out Christ in their life such that it is a lamp set up high for all to see (Matthew 5:15).