"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Sometimes there is a bit of a line that is blurred between work where you get paid now, and work where you will be paid in heaven. There is also a difference between volunteer work and ministry. There is a difference between Sunday School and babysitting as well. In that last one, it is usually a choice.
Think about this for a second. Most people go to work , and they know what is required of them. They have a start time and an end time. There are times where they need to be at their post, and allotted times for breaks and lunch. If you’re not where you’re supposed to be, usually there will be a managerial type that mentions it. If you keep ignoring your guidelines, there may be some sort of disciplinary action.
At work, if I just don’t show up, I’ll lose my job. If I can’t be there for some reason, I am required to call and let my manager know. If I no longer want my job, I try to give a customary grace period to allow someone to come in and replace me.
Recently at work, the dress code policy was reiterated. It outlined what clothing was appropriate to wear in the workplace: nothing that was worn out or torn, nothing that is revealing or immodest, and nothing that is unsafe or too casual for my position. I am representing my division. If I worked in certain areas of my building I would have to wear appropriate protective footwear or a hardhat.
Also, at work, there are things that people can talk about, and that are appropriate to talk about. People are supposed to keep focused on their job and save personal talk for their breaks.
Now, let’s step back for a minute. What if people treated their work that they do in the church the way someone with a strong work ethic does? What if people showed up on time and were prepared for their job? What if they stayed focused on their work while they were on duty in the church? What if people just showed up to do the job that they had agreed to do? If for some reason they could not be there, what if they called to let someone know that they could not be there, and they took responsibility for their work… no, for their ministry. And what if they took a few moments to think about dressing for the job that they were going to be doing? And what if they kept their personal issues away from those around them, until the time is appropriate (ie: you are not on duty)? What about coming in with a positive attitude and a prayerful focus for the time serving in the church? Can you imagine how differently the church would run? Can you see how well it would run?
That’s the difference. In a church, it’s not just volunteer work. It is MINISTRY…. No matter where you are serving. It is worship. It is about serving God and others.
If you’re in nursery, you pray for the babies, and you serve the parents by allowing them to be fed. You give the kids a place to be loved. You may not see what they live in at home.
What if you are doing cleaning? You serve the pastor. You serve your brothers and sisters. You help keep people safe and healthy. You have the opportunity spend some time praying in the church.
Ministry also helps you grow in your faith. Challenging times…. Times that test your faith and your resolve do not happen when you are focused on God or in prayer or worship. What about the times where a kid tries your patience? What about the other sacrifices you make to serve? Have you ever been challenged when you are not expecting to be tested? Too many people shy away from ministry opportunities because of people or situations that they find hard. That is the time to focus on why you are there, and dig in and love God and love people. More of God. Less of you.
Imagine a church like that?