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In your household, how do things get done? Who cleans, who cooks, who puts out the washing, how does the garbage get taken out, who turns the heater and the lights on and off?
For those of us who live alone – the answer is kind of obvious! But many of us live in families or shared households and these things don’t just happen with a wave of a magic wand. Everyone has to pitch in. Everyone has something to contribute. And together we put our homes in order.
As church families we also have household duties. None of us should claim to be too busy or to be above scrubbing a toilet, serving a cuppa to another, vacuuming the floor, washing the dishes, setting up the chairs, helping in youth or children’s ministries. These acts of service are expressions of love and commitment to each other, and help to edify the church. We worship God not just with our lips and our hearts, but also with our bodies – by using our physical effort to create space for everyone to come together in unity and purpose.
At Jubilee church in the UK – I was convicted by their approach to doing the family chores. There was no opt in/opt out system for rosters – every member was simply part of a cell group, and those cells would take it in turns to do the serving tasks needed across the church life.
Sounds simple hey?
It was also beautiful to be there on a day when the Queen’s birthday was celebrated. Following the celebration service time – the chairs were stacked away and the building came alive with activity as each cell formed some tables together, laid out their very best English dishes and decorated the whole place to the hilt.
The colours and sounds of a community of people in celebration is a very compelling thing. This is one of the most attractive things about our faith – this shared, communal life – this bond of being church family together. This mark of love and commitment points all people towards the God of love, just as Jesus said;
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-36 (NIV)
I fear we have become so used to the ‘tick-this-box, option-filled life’ – that we have allowed our churches to become places where we can opt in and opt out without considering how much that effects the overall health of the Body of Christ.
Take a moment to consider what happens to a human body if one part works too hard? It gets worn out and eventually needs some serious intervention! The body stays healthy and strong if every part does its job in balance with the others.
It’s simply a matter of each of us saying ‘yes’ to taking up our responsibility as a member of the Body of Christ. Doing our part regularly and faithfully will help our church families to grow.
It may be one of the greatest witnesses we have to offer. Simple acts of love, sacrifice and commitment stand out in a world where that is hard to find.
It’s time to get our church homes in order. And we can only do it all together.
Ministry Team Leader
NationsHeart Christian Community, Belconnen, ACT