I think it’s common in churches (although it hasn’t really happened here) for people to approach the pastor and say, “You should do this…” or “The church should do that…” I see one problem with this, and it’s not that people want to see certain ministries; if it agrees with Scripture that’s actually a good thing. The problem is when the people expect the pastor or the church to do it instead of thinking of doing it themselves. I want to respond by saying, “You want the church to do it? You are the church, what do you think about doing it?”
Here are four recent examples of people taking initiative in our church to do things themselves.
- Julie Reardon wanted to have an outreach on Halloween passing out bags with tracts and church cards.
- Lori Anderson wanted to do the landscaping in front of the church.
- Dave and Shirley Reed wanted to begin a ministry for the elderly in the church.
- Allan and Kandie wanted to have a game night in the fellowship hall.
These people came to me and wanted to see these things take place, but they saw themselves as part of the church and they took it on themselves to do it. They wanted the leadership’s approval and then they were off and running. This is exactly how I love to see ministry in the church taking place and I think this is what the Bible prescribes. In Eph 4:10-13 Paul said, “Jesus gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” The idea is the members of the church should be equipped so they can go out and do the work of the ministry.
By the way, this is why our services have a stronger focus on equipping, teaching, etc as opposed to being exclusively evangelistic. We present the Gospel, but we’re trying to provide the saints with the tools they need to serve God.