volunteers make the church work

At the beginning of the year I put out the call for volunteers at the church where I pastor. I made a list of needed help and called the church to pray for the right people to come to us and fill the roles that had been identified. I don’t know if anyone is still praying over our list but we did see some results and I’d like to publically thank those that stepped up to help out.

Brian thank you so much for taking on the task of maintaining our grounds. It is a very important task and I know that it takes up a lot of time. How the property looks is the very first impression that people have of our church and we want that impression to be a good one. Without your efforts that wouldn’t be possible. Paul and Junia I know that you have also pitched in and your help is very much appreciated. You two were also instrumental in the ongoing remodel of the new classroom. It was your efforts that really got that project moving again after it had gotten stalled.

Good first impressions continue because Sandy came forward and volunteered to take on the task of keeping the sanctuary, bathrooms, and other spaces clean and tidy. Your personal touches in those areas have really made a huge difference in the way members and visitors alike see our facility. I don’t know if anyone has thanked you personally but several people have asked me who has been cleaning because the place looks great. It feels like somebody actually loves it and wants it to look it’s very best. Your servant’s heart really shines through the work that you do.  I pray that God bless you abundantly.

Stan and Kathy have continued to keep the kitchen and coffee room clean and tidy. I always know that you’ve been there even if I didn’t see you because of the smell of Pine-Sol in the air after you leave. You two have been performing this task for several years and it’s about time you got a public thank you for it.

Papa G, Stan, and Dan have done a lot of work in our new classroom and I am really happy to let you all know that we will be opening up one side of it this Sunday for use. These men have worked very hard to present to you all a building that you can be proud of. They’ve done demolition, put up Sheetrock, textured and painted. They’ve dug trenches, run wires, installed a bunch of stuff. Been up and down ladders countless times and made numerous trips to a variety of home improvement stores. Their work has been done with excellence and love. There is still a lot more to be done but I know that these men will be there to do the job and do it right. Thank you thank you thank you.

In one sense a church is just a bunch of people that get together once in a while and do church. If that’s all you get from it God bless you and expand your thoughts. Because really a church ought to be like a family with all that implies. A family does things together with a common goal and so should a church. I am certain that if you are attending a church somewhere that there are plenty of opportunities for you to serve. It is my prayer that you find that spot and fill it because you are necessary and important no matter what you think. God will use you if you make yourself available for use.

I know that I have not mentioned every person that volunteers in our church. Fear not I see all and so does God. There are many more blogs to write.

 

 

Be the bigger person

If God were easy to follow everybody would be doing it. If God always made you comfortable, if there were never any trials in your life because Of some kind of supernatural intervention there would not be any need for faith. I think that I like that He lets us face difficulty, that our decisions matter and we are made to face the consequences of the decisions that we make both the good and the bad.

It seems to me that today many people think that it is actually good to let themselves off the hook for the things that they do or think. I hear people say things like all ideas are good or that all lifestyle choices are equal. This seems absurd to me. One person says that it is society’s responsibility to take care of everybody and another says that each person is responsible for his own wellbeing. Those are quite opposite and can’t both be true. I know that is a extreme example but it makes the point.

This kind of thing gets truly evil when people think that they ought to be able to get away with stuff but you over there ought to be punished for the same thing. The more polarized we get the more that this mindset seems to rear it’s ugly head.

I know I’m being a little vague here by not pointing out some real world examples but I really want to stay a bit neutral while I think this through. I know that the us and them mentality has always been around I know that. I also know that long ago people were deeply divided by a lot of things that led to very extreme behavior but I thought that perhaps we had outgrown some of the really terrible ideas that had ruled interaction between people. I thought we had learned to be at least civil with each other, that we could share problems and solutions and be able to come to some kind of consensus. But Solomon was right. There really is nothing new under the sun.

So now I need to look into my own life to see if there is any of that in me. I don’t want to be the man that is shouting down somebody for what they did while excusing myself for my own misdeeds. I want to be the man that can listen respectfully to someone that I may disagree with and be able to have a reasonable discussion about it. I don’t want to be the man that looks past someone’s problems because I happen to agree with some of his or her thoughts or ideas. I want to be the man that is able to discern truth but not be filled with hate. I want to be the man that can be persuaded when I am wrong to see the error and make the appropriate change. I want to be the man that will gently but firmly hold fast to those things that I am confident are the truth. I want to be the man that is persuasive not belligerent. Mostly I want to be the man that loving and merciful to those around me wether I agree with them or not.

Lest I am misunderstood let me state that I will not tolerate evil. I do believe that there is real evil in the world and it must be opposed. But I must not allow myself to be evil to oppose it. Opposition must still come from a place of love and yes even mercy.

It is my prayer that after you read this you will join me in this self examination to find the condition of your heart and then follow me and make the commitment to love even those that you find youself opposing.