Work and work

Though what used to be incredibly burdensome for me at church has now become more manageable, I still have a nagging feeling that I’m not doing enough. I feel like I could be doing more, but in reality just what I have to do now seems like plenty enough for me. I could theoretically be maximizing every minute of my time to plan and prepare for church, not just the sermon and praise, but Bible studies, fellowship events, outreach events, and other ways that will help Living Exodus to grow and mature. I was blessed at every Talbot class session this past semester, and I always wanted to take what I received and pour more into church, but when came time to follow through on my resolutions, I couldn’t seem to do it. I woke up early, but all it took was one 7:30 call from a customer and it was hard to get into the mode. There went my morning time. I would sit down at my desk in the evenings and the red numbers of my clock would glare back at me. Somehow the hours turned from 8, to 9, to 10, to 11, without much progress, and I resigned myself to bed so I could wake up again to try to redeem the next day.

I know I can do better. I know I can be more disciplined. I know if I could just get the sermon “over with” earlier in the week, then I can put my efforts toward thinking ahead, thinking about new things, new ideas. But just as it requires much self-restraint to put in the time to study and meditate for the sermon, it requires yet another push to do that breaking of new ground. It’s been a while since we sang a new song during worship.

One of the characteristics of a good leader is that he knows how to reach out to those who know more than him. He knows how to teach others how to do the things that he might only be doing out of necessity so that he can be freed to pursue other important matters. In our last class, we went over Ephesians 4. When other parts of the body are not performing correctly or they are weak, the body starts to use the stronger part. Sometimes the stronger part gets overused. We are meant to walk on two legs, not one. Walk on one too much and it will become stronger, but it will also become tired from overuse. No one is meant to walk on crutches even after a broken ankle is healed. The healthy ankle takes on a heavier load while the other is recovering, but it is only supposed to be temporary. When each part is working properly, the body can build itself up and grow properly (Eph 4:16).

I hope some of our group can step up more and learn to take ownership and responsibility for the health of our ministry. Am I able to discern when they are ready to take on responsibilities? Because so far, I see halfhearted dedication. They shy away from responsibility. They give God only bits and pieces, not their whole heart, mind, and soul. As a stronger part, I can fill in, but this is not the way it is meant to be in the long run. It is easy for them. All they have to do is “show up.” But most can’t even do that much. If they are not faithful with the little things, how can I entrust to them greater things?

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