I needed to state that not only as a reminder to myself, but to my other pastor friends too. It seems like we can often lose sight of this fact. We can become so focused on the next sermon … the next appointment … the next Board meeting … the next outreach … that we are actually worshiping the ministry instead of worshiping God through our ministry.
Oswald Chambers gave this warning:
Beware of any work for God that causes or allows you to avoid concentrating on Him. A great number of Christian workers worship their work. The only concern of Christian workers should be their concentration on God. …A worker who lacks this serious controlling emphasis of concentration on God is apt to become overly burdened by his work. …Consequently, he becomes burned out and defeated. There is no freedom and no delight in life at all. His nerves, mind, and heart are so overwhelmed that God’s blessing cannot rest on him.
When we are more focused on the work than on God, we can easily begin to feel over-worked and under-appreciated. And this usually leads to us either bearing down to work harder or to simply throwing in the towel.
There is a healthy alternative: link arms with The Co-Worker —
Walk with me and work with Me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. (Matthew 11:29, The Message)
Link with The Co-Worker, and then you will do ministry out of the overflow of your personal worship. Remember, you are a co-worker, not a solo-worker.
Obvious statement #2: Church ministry is not just for the pastor.
Church member, you too are a co-worker with Christ. And with your pastor.
The Apostle Paul reminded the church at Corinth that “we are God’s fellow workers” (1 Corinthians 3:19). In other words, we’re all in this together. You need your pastor, and your pastor needs you.
Allow me to paraphrase a quote from President Dwight Eisenhower:
Never let yourself be persuaded that one [pastor] is necessary to the salvation of America. When [the Church] consists of one leader and [a bunch of] followers, it will no longer be [the Church].
The Church is a beautiful thing! It functions best when:
- Pastor and church member are both linked with Christ
- The pastor is not a lone ranger
- The church members are not spectators
Ready? Go BE the Church of Jesus Christ!