Oh! My feet hurt soooo bad. This thing called tendentious is really getting to me. My feet hurt when I walk, stand, sit down, even when I lay down. It seems that I am spending more time with an ice pack under my heels, than I am with a pillow under my head.
The other day, the love of my life and I were walking into a restaurant to have dinner. I was hobbling along with the Festus-like limp I currently use to help cope with this injury, and she had her own peculiar gait due to back pains. I was sure we could get away with asking for a senior citizen discount. I may be only 37, but I sure am walking like I’m 100.
Now I know that “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose,” and this silly Achilles thing is no exception. I have already discovered part of the blessing, to b e realized through this aching trial.
As a small church, we move in and out of our Sunday morning meeting place each week. We have to set up before the service begins, and breakdown after it ends. There is a great degree of the set up, in which I am involved. Pretty typical for a small church. Well, my set up capabilities are limited for 8-12 weeks. In the meantime, I have had to ask for extra help on Sunday mornings. This has been the blessing of this dilemma. You see, I was allowing myself to do too much, and I had been caught in the “Do it Yourself” Snare.
I know that I can’t do everything. In fact when it comes down to it, I really can’t do many things at all. I’d like to think that I’m becoming more Christ-like each day, but I have found that this does not include becoming omnipresent. Therefore, I am unfortunately burdened with the inability to do everything myself.
As I think through this dilemma, I am beginning to come to some conclusions which should help those of us who are trapped in this “Do it Yourself” snare:
1) If I am trying to do all the work of the ministry, I must be stealing some body’s job. God wants everyone in the church involved in His work. If I continue to do things which I should give away, then others will suffer the pain of not feeling needed.
I might feel better, if my hands did the walking instead of my feet. But, this certainly becomes an absurdity. Just as my hands cannot replace my feet, and do the work of two body parts, so I cannot effectively do more than I am assigned by the Father to do. To take anther’s job is like trying to become more than one part of the body of Christ. This steals another’s sense of belonging.
2) If I am trying to “do it all,” there must be many people who are not being reached. They could be, if I changed my ways. I realize that I am not everyone’s “piece of cake.” Some will love the way I do things. Others will be much less thrilled. The more people who help do the work of the ministry, the more we see different personalities fill the ranks of leadership in the church. This gives people more options, and points of identification in the church.
And oh! this is so Biblical. You see, everyone comes to God for different reasons. Some are scared away from Hell. Some are drawn by His intense love. Some are convinced that it is the only sensible to do. Some experience a miracle, and are persuaded of God’s power. Just as people see the various characteristics of the Lord, and fin d something which draws them into His Kingdom, so also, people who see more than one Christian doing the work of the ministry will have a fuller picture of Jesus. This will give greater drawing power to the church.
This leads to my last thought.
3) If I am trying to do it all, I am making the church impotent. God empowers every Christian who seeks His empowerment. If these people are not being used to serve Him, then the weapons of the Church are lying dormant.
Oh! My feet hurt soooo bad. I suppose this is because I have been trying to do it all. I suppose it is a good thing that my feet hurt. After all, Jeff, and Larry, and each person who has helped pick up some of the load have been a great blessing. But, as for how my feet feel, I think it’s getting to be too much of a good thing.
This is the seventh part in a series on “The Captivity of Fruitlessness”.
Phil Wyman is pastor of Church on the Coast in Carlsbad. If you have been encouraged by this column or have any questions, contact Wyman at 4740 Dalea Pl., Oceanside, CA 92057; email address: [email protected] .