In virtually every classified section of the newspaper, we find some employer advertising for a "dependable person" to occupy some position of trust and responsibility. I have talked with many business owners who state that finding employees they can count on is their number one problem. No organization can succeed without dependable personnel. The lazy, irresponsible, hit-and-miss type is a shame to his company and hinders its effectiveness.

It is equally true that the local congregation cannot be an effective organization unless it consists of "dependable" Christians; that is, members who will shoulder their responsibilities along with the rest and cooperate to fulfill the mission of the church. While the Bible does not use the word "dependable," it does use equivalent terms such as "steadfast" and "zealous" (see 1 Corinthians 15:58; Titus 2:14, etc.). Every Christian should be characterized by these terms. He should be one who can be "counted on" at all times.

The sad, but true, fact of the matter is, however, that many congregations have a percentage of undependable members: members who couldn't hold down a job for a week if they conducted themselves toward their work like they do toward the church and its work. Let's look at a few examples:

Most congregations adopt a particular series of studies for their Bible classes. This is to facilitate the edification program of the church. Members of the church need to be instructed in the knowledge of the Bible. But the effectiveness of the Bible classes and any sermon series is compromised because of those members who are present only now and then, and thus fail to receive the overall benefit from the series of lessons. To have a thoroughly effective edification program, we need members whose presence we can depend upon.

The Bible authorized a pooling of resources of the members on the first day of the week in order to facilitate the work of the church (1 Corinthians 16:1-2). Obviously, any kind of budget or planned expenditure of funds from the church treasury depends upon the consistent, generous contribution of the members.The church needs members who are dependable in their contribution. We need those who not only are generous, but can be depended upon to plan ahead and give regularly. Because of some who give on an irregular, inconsistent basis, important work of the church must be curtailed, plans left unfulfilled, work not completed.

The sum of all that we are trying to say is simply this: the church of our Lord needs each member to be dependable in shouldering our responsibilities; more dedicated in our efforts to put the kingdom of God foremost in our lives.