Time, busy, effort, sacrifice and capacity, all words that we probably use on a regular basis, is not a daily basis. There are plenty of times where we have valid excuses and reasons to then pass on our duties. In fact there are times where it is the wisest thing. But there are times when it is not.
Being a Christian means that your life is oriented around something else than the rest of the world. Your life is, or should be, built on the gospel and lived for the Kingdom of God.
There are two areas that I’d like to highlight. Two areas of duty that we have that we cannot simply pass on. Sure, it may be easier, it may be more comfortable and it may even be more ‘enjoyable’ but it is not right. We are called to be ambassadors for Christ, not only in our witnessing but in every area of life. Here are two areas in which we cannot comply pass on our duties to others.
1. Being a disciple-making family.
A parents duty is to raise their children in the way of the Lord. Too often church has become an entertainment hour for kids and teens whilst the adults get ‘spiritual’. Church can be seen as a spiritual pick me up that must encourage and uplift us for another week in the world. Parents hand their kids over to church volunteers and expect them to teach their children the gospel and a love for the Lord. This means that a family is handing over their duty as disciple makers and teachers of the Lord to someone else. This is dangerous because 1) it shows that the family misunderstands what church is there for, 2) it shows that the parents don’t grasp the importance of their role and spiritual leaders, and 3) it means that the kids are being entertained and not taught.
Maybe, like me, you don’t have children. Regardless of whether we am have biological family members or not, we are called to grow and spur on believers in the body of Christ. It is the responsibility of every believer to care for others in their church. If you’re and order saint, take a young man or woman under your wing and teach them. If you’re mature in the faith, help the one who isn’t to stand firm in their convictions that are based on the Bible.
Take every opportunity to train and teach people and do not pass on your duty to be a disciple making family. Doing so will only create a weak culture of lukewarm believers who are not willing to teach others, because they haven’t been taught. Serving Christ is much more than warming a pew for a few hours. Parenting is much more than dropping your child at Sunday school. Equipping believers is much more than throwing a book at them. If we want to see a generation of strong and mature believers then we need to actually invest in them and pray for the Lord to work by His Spirit in their lives.
2. Sustainable Sacrifice!
Too often the work of the Lord is sacrificed on the altar of comfort and conformity.
There are times when we will need to say no to things. There are times when we will want to do a certain thing but cannot due to family matters, church commitments and much more. However, the first thing that often gets thrown out is the work of the church.
This also happens a lot in ministry. People get tired and weary, I understand that I really do, but I wonder if we need to be reminded of our calling to care for the Lord’s people well. That will mean that we will need to make sacrifices in our time. We will need to say no to things that we’d like to do. It could mean that we need to stop trying to please everyone and serve to the best of our ability.
Service for the Lord is easily sacrificed on the altar of comfort, of family, or keeping a certain imagine. We are called to serve the Lord and seek His Kingdom.
This means that we need to weigh up our responsibilities in life, our service in church and our witnessing to the lost and make sustainable sacrifices. It might look like saying no to meals with friends to make a church meeting. It may mean spending a few nights a week in church meetings serving. It may mean working really hard for a particularly difficult season. The key is sustainable sacrifice!
Make sure that all of our service is sustainable and that we don’t burn ourselves out. Service for God’s Kingdom isn’t a whip on our backs, it is a joy and a privilege given as a gift. Don’t pass on your responsibilities but make sustainable sacrifices in your service of the Lord.
Remembering our work for the Lord and the call for every Christian to engage in the Lord’s work should be a wake up call for those who sleep. We’re not called to coast through the Christian life, but we are called to spur each other on to good works and to serve the Lord wholeheartedly. Those are duties that we should not, that we cannot, pass to others.