“WHATEVER YOU DO, WHETHER IN SPEECH OR ACTION, DO IT ALL IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS AND GIVE THANKS TO GOD THE FATHER THROUGH HIM.”
Dear Church Family,
I was talking with someone about the work of the church when he laughed and said, “Sounds like most of what you do is not for you.” It surprised me because I had never thought of it that way.
Whether we are planning worship, painting parking lots, hosting fellowship meals, or engaged in Mission Outreach, just about everything we do is really for someone else’s benefit. Adam Hamilton, pastor of the Church of the Resurrection United Methodist Church, tells his new members, “Once you join this church, you need to understand you are surrendering all rights and privileges.” That prime up-close parking spot needs to be made available for visitors. Instead of chatting with just your friends, you make greeting the new folks your priority. Then you catch up with the people you’ve seen every week for years, if there is time. You sing songs and hymns that are not your favorite because they appeal to potential disciples. You may even have to sit in a new place during worship.
The point of this is not to make you uncomfortable or unhappy. It is simply what we do as Christ’s disciples. We make putting other people first a way of life, outside the church building as well as inside of it. It means we are willing to be uncomfortable or inconvenienced if it serves God’s purposes. Life is about change. Change is uncomfortable. We agree willingly and lovingly to do what is necessary to reach as many people for Jesus as we can. The conflict arises when we are trying to understand what is necessary and what is just someone’s preference. This is why it is so very important that we are working together. Together, we have a better opportunity to discern God’s Will.
My prayer is that our church is a place where we can be inspired, encouraged and prepared to be sent out into the world, not just a nice, comfortable place to hang out a few hours a week. When we ask God to use us in God’s service, I believe God takes us seriously. May God continue to bless us as we seek to love God and love all others.
Grace and Peace,