The other day I wrote a post after my husband called me late in the evening to let me know he'd be getting home late. What's been interesting to me is how popular that particular post has been.
You see, our church is presenting a very large production this weekend for Christmas (How Christmas Saved the Grinch-Growing Up Wasn't a Cinch ) and my husband was staying late after a practice to fix problems with the sound (they have a CRAZY number of wireless mics in play this year). It made me think of how busy he is every December (as well as his team and all the others involved in the production), how much sometimes it's the people who are behind the scenes (making everything work) who get overlooked. The response has been overwhelming and makes me think a nerve has been hit.
Sometimes people get weary when they feel they've been overlooked or forgotten. Perhaps this is why Paul admonishes us in Galatians 6:9 ESV "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up."
As I've been thinking more about this, I ran across an interesting article on Christianity Today written in 2010 by Michelle Van Loon called Church Volunteers: An Oxymoron. She makes an interesting point in that perhaps we (as the Church) have been doing this thing wrong. It's become about filling empty slots on a chart (sometimes resorting to guilt to do it), viewing fellow members of the body of Christ not unlike a non-profit organization treats their volunteers. Michelle points out that the Bible tells us as servants we are meant to be (and operate) quite differently: "
"Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.
In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly"
This got me thinking about the church which hosted a missions trip I was able to go on in Costa Rica in 2009. The host church was relatively young (about ten years old at the time) with the majority of its members being new Christians. You want to know what was really cool? From what I could tell, every person in the church was involved in some sort of service to benefit their faith community and neighborhoods at large. They served God with great joy. Something tells me they were getting this thing right.
Honestly, I don't really know where to go with this post other than putting it out there to think about and consider.
There used to be a statistic which said something like 10% of American church members were involved in some form of service or ministry in their faith communities. If correct, this means a very small portion of people do pretty much all the work. No wonder people like my husband (and his contemporaries) and others who work the nursery, teach the Sunday School, shake the hands as people come in the morning, not to mention the pastors, well, they appreciate a nod of gratitude for their service once in awhile (or find something else to do when they get burned out).
Again, not sure where I'm going other than to challenge you (and myself) to think about how we fit in the body of Christ and find our way to serve.