I first published this blog “Is Sunday a spectator sport?” about 2 weeks ago. Off the back of that post, I was accused of being an abusive pastor who was harming people by what I had written. I had a good private chat with the individual who flagged the concern. However, I wrote something publicly that was challenged and so I believe that a public response/clarification is required. I am not responding to the individual who raised the concern, as I have done that privately already, but instead providing further clarification to my previous post to you, my readers.
One of the issues with social media, and any form of written speech, is that the tone is not always carried across well. I did not write the previous blog post out of frustration or out of a desire to stir certain Christians to service, but off the back of Christians telling me how easy they found it to become spectators in church.
My desire behind the post was to help Christians prepare for how they come to church on Sundays. Obviously, there will be times when people aren’t able to prepare due to the busyness of life, mental or physical conditions and plain old tiredness. I completely get it! But at the same time I see that there might be those on the fringes who are tempted to let others do the work. Many churches struggle with the fact that a small number of members do majority of the work.
However, the day-to-day of a Sunday wasn’t my concern. My desire with the post was actually to challenge people to think about how much they prepare for a Sunday morning. By that I mean…
Do we pray for the preacher and band leader in advance?
Do we pray for those teaching the children in our services?We we read the passage in advance of arriving on Sunday?Do we pray that the Holy Spirit would point us to people who we can encourage that day?
There will be more that could be added to that list, and not all of them might be applicable on any given Sunday. But wouldn’t it be great if every member was able to read the sermon text, or at least one verse, and talk to the preacher about it afterwards?
That’s what I meant to convey about preparation, but now onto the bigger topic of service. I do believe that every single member should be serving their local church. Here’s why I think that, Ephesians 4:11-13 says;
“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
Every single Christians, and every member of a local church, has been given gifts by God to serve the local church, to build each other up to unity, faith and maturity. Some Christians today think that they have no gifts, but that simply isn’t true. Some Christians simply might not have been given to opportunity to serve in the area that they have a gift in yet and therefore feel they have no gift.
Every single Christian, that includes you, has been given a gift by God to serve your church; seek out counsel, ask your elders, try new ideas and try your hand at things. The Lord has equipped you to serve, not to sit on the fringes.
There may be times when people feel unable to serve, prepare and participate in church services and that is ok, but let your elders know so that they can be praying for and otherwise supporting you.