It may be because Drew’s a redhead, but his bright red cheeks told me he was tired. It was one of his last soccer games of the season, and only the minimum number of players showed up. That meant lots of playing time – yay! – but no breaks. Eventually it looked like the whole team was playing in slow motion.
They were exhausted.
My previous post was a lesson I learned that when it comes to serving in the church (or anywhere really), it doesn’t all depend on me, no matter how much I may think it does. But as anyone serving in the church knows, there are times in fact when it seems that if you don’t do it, no one literally will.
That’s why I felt it necessary to follow up on that post with a friendly reminder that sometimes it does depend on me – and you.
You’ve probably heard that in any given organization, 20% of the people do 80% of the work. I’m not sure if that’s an official statistic or a quotable quote, but I’d say it’s pretty accurate.
Why is the minority doing the majority of the work? Sometimes, granted, the minority can be control freaks and want everything their way. (I’m not pointing fingers…you saw my last post about hating group projects. Most of the time I ended up doing all the work because I wanted it done my way. Guilty.)
But sometimes it’s simply because the whole team isn’t showing up to the game. There are no subs, and the players – while they love the game – are exhausted and desperately need a water break.
So let me encourage us all to come to the game. In a church setting, here are just a few suggestions:
1. Be attentive to the communicated needs. Maybe you’re a horrible cook so providing a dish for pot luck may not be your thing, but helping clean up afterward is something you can do. On the flip side, maybe you have young kids and can’t stay late to clean up, but you can certainly bring a dish.
2. Seek out serving opportunities in areas that interest you. Don’t wait to be asked. If you love music, ask the music director if you can come to choir practice. If you have a passion for the elderly, ask a pastor how you can help meet their needs. The list is endless.
3. Volunteer for the church nursery or to serve in Children’s Church. When you serve there, you’re not only serving the children (obviously) and the parents (clearly), but you’re serving the other workers. I remember when Drew was a baby and we had lots of babies and not enough workers, and Matt and I were in nursery two out of every three Sundays. We rarely got to be in worship and listen to biblical teaching we so desperately needed. If you volunteer, you’ll be contributing to the rotation, allowing everyone to be in worship more often.
4. Participate in the church’s outreach events. Again, the more who serve, less work is shouldered by few. Plus, serving alongside your brothers and sisters in your church is a huge blessing!
5. Be there. You can’t very well do or even know about the above items if you’re not present with your local church regularly. Make it a priority to serve God through the ministries of your local church.
6. Pray about where God would have you serve in your local church. This should probably be #1. Jesus moves and grows his kingdom through the local church. Don’t dismiss that. He has equipped you uniquely to use your gifts to serve through the local church. And there are few things more fulfilling than exercising those gifts for the glory of God and for his kingdom.
God doesn’t call us to be mere spectators in kingdom work any more than he expects us to do all the work. It’s a team effort.
Come on, team, let’s all come to the game and play.
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