the weblog of Alan Knox

Activities = Service and Community?

Posted by on Oct 20, 2008 in blog links, community, service | 5 comments

Mary at “One Thing is Needed” wrote a post called “Unplugged” in which she considers some questions that I’ve been contemplating as well. Mary begins with this statement:

As a “leader” in our CLB [“Church Left Behind”], I often encouraged people to get plugged in to our church. This really meant that I wanted people to take part in the various ministries and activities with our church. I’m not sure why I thought being plugged in was such a good thing.

She concludes with this:

Yesterday I was thinking about being plugged in when I remembered that I’m already grafted in to the Vine. When I compare the two ideas, the thought of being plugged in is suffocating and exhausting, yet the idea of being grafted in is freeing, comforting, and restful.

Have we confused the two? Do we think that being plugged in to a local church’s activities somehow makes us grafted in?

I’m not sure, but for now, I’m going to stay unplugged and continue to remain grafted in.

I’ve been thinking about this questions from a different direction. Is being “plugged in” to a ministry program the same thing as serving one another? How would you compare or contrast the two?

Is being “plugged in” to ministry programs the same as being part of a community? How would you compare or contrast the two?


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 10-20-2008

    I believe that most congregations would say that those who were “plugged in” are the most faithful in the congregation. They are the members who are busy and the more busy you are the more holy and righteous you are as well.

    I believe that that idea of being grafted in is definately freeing. I think that being “plugged in” can lead to spiritual and physical burn out. Yet know that you are grafted makes one fill apart and take ownership of ministries and activies with in the congregration.

    Thank you Alan for sharing this wonderful article with us. Keep up the great work.
    I hope you have a great day!

  2. 10-20-2008

    my church leadership does not fully “buy it” but I would much rather have our members grafted into the community then “plugged in” to the church.

  3. 10-20-2008


    You asked “Is being plugged in to a ministry program the same as serving one another”? I would say no. Being plugged into a ministry program, is to be a part of building an organization. Where as serving one another, is to follow Christ’s example. It is to help others from a stand point of being grateful for what the Lord has done in ones life.

    You also asked “Is being plugged in to ministry programs the same as being part of a community”?

    Bing plugged into a ministry program is to fulfill a duty, it is to follow through on something that one commits to, even if there are good intentions involved. But, it is not the same as being a part of a community. In a community, one becomes involved because there is a sense of belonging. There is a process of building people and not just building an organization. It is in essence a way of life. It is a personal commitment made out of love, for God and others. Being a part of a community is to be part of a family.

    Qjuite a big diffence in both cases.

  4. 10-20-2008

    I’ve learned something very interesting in the last three years or so… many Christians who know how to be “plugged in” when it comes to programs, do not know how to serve others or be part of a community.


  5. 10-21-2008


    Most of those “plugged in to programs” are also plugged in to a particular pew, which is labelled “my seat”.