Awhile ago I wrote a post on the dying breed of the pastor-theologian. I’d like to continue that theme and start a “Dying Breed” series. The purpose of the series is not to call out or unlovingly poke fun at the western church’s weak spots, but to call attention to much needed areas of improvement. As a leader in a local church I would be foolish not to consider where and how the church can spiritual improve.
Today, I’d like to address the topic of another dying breed, the serving churchman. While there are several church attendees across the nation I’d like to highlight the concept of a serving churchman. The focus of a serving churchman is having the proper heart for the church rather than being concerned about his attendance in the church. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe church attendance is vital for a Christian’s spiritual growth (Heb 10:24-27), but presence doesn’t always mean participation. Genuine churchman are participants in the family of God not spectators of the family of God.
The church is precious to God. He sent Jesus to earth to purchase the church with His invaluable blood (Acts 20:28). By virtue of this single principle alone the church ought to be valued and loved by every believer. The church is properly loved when believers are seeking to build up the body of Christ. Saints should not only care about the her existence in society, but also care about her excellence in sanctification.
A vital element to the church’s health is not only having healthy leaders (as already discussed in the previous blog in the series), but having healthy church members. Saints need to embrace their God given responsibility to the household of God. Every churchman needs to be equipped and embrace their place of service. The end result of a serving churchman is another step in the direction of a healthier church (Eph 4:12).
Practically, here are a few thoughts that can help foster a growing love for God and His people that will benefit you and your local church (some may sound rather obvious, but they are excellent reminders):
- Serve with Proper Motives. Christians are marked by the biblical virtue of love. More specifically, Christians should be known by their love for one another (Jn 13:5; Gal 5:13). Are you serving because you are motivated by love for your church family? What drives your desire to be present at Bible study, prayer meetings, or Sunday school? Prepare yourself before gathering with God’s people to seek out ways to show love to others.
- Serve with Faithfulness. Faithfulness (reliability or even commitment) is a quality that is valued in society. Employers want faithfulness in their employees and vice versa. Individuals want reliability in their relationships. This commitment will often stretch your attitudes and physical limitations, but it is a good thing to establish a personal habit or pattern of faithfulness.
- Serve with Diligence. God demands that believers love God with all their being (Matt 22:37). This means that lollygagging around is a dishonor to God. Often times this attitude can become socially acceptable in the name of Christian fellowship, but we must be mindful we are not being wasteful with the life God has given to us. Similarly, when serving in a local church you are probably rubbing shoulders with others in a similar situation. An overwhelming majority of congregants don’t work in full-time ministry. Therefore, we must also be considerate of others as we commit to serving the local church.
- Serve as a Lifestyle. Developing a personal habit of service is a sign of selfless living. This beneficial because it keeps a person’s focus off of self and upon others. It also benefits spectators in your life. Your immediate circle of family and friends will be able to mark you as a selfless individual. Children will realize that service is a part of everyday life and local church members will reap the benefits and be encouraged.