Ask not what your church can do for you … OR … Lessons from the Church Refrigerator

I first encountered a church refrigerator while teaching Kindergarten with a wonderful group of people known as Emmanuel  Baptist Church of West Shore.  I remember one of the teachers getting frustrated about all the “stuff” which was left in the fridge.

Churches are communal property; therefore, rights and responsibilities are sometimes nebulous.  For example, who does throw out the leftovers from a fellowship?  Who does throw out old paint cans, or straighten up the craft closet, or discard old Sunday school material?  Whose job is it?

I love the folks at Steam Valley Bible Church!  They are awesome!  When we first came here, the very first Sunday that we candidated, they asked me to play the piano: a very nice Baldwin Studio piano.  However, as an organist, my ear went to the instrument across the room.  It sounded like an Allen organ!  And it was. Later, when we were given a tour of the buildings, I noticed a beautiful Yamaha Professional piano (Studio is slightly smaller than the Professional).  Why was this piano downstairs and the Baldwin upstairs? After some time and some questioning, we discovered that the upstairs piano was given in memory of someone, but the sweet woman, who was mainly responsible for its purchase, was fine with the idea of switching the pianos. Now, we’ve been in the pastorate long enough to know that such a move, in some church, would cause hard feelings and probably a church split!

So, what’s my point?  The next time you are on your church property, look around, especially if you attend a smaller church which does not have a host of paid employees.  How is the landscaping?  Are there any flowers?  Are there weeds?  Is there any mulch?  What about the signboard?  Has it been changed recently?  Does anything need a fresh coat of paint?  New windows? New chairs? New bulletin boards? Who does cut the grass or rake the leaves or clean out the gutters?  And what is your part in making a good show of presenting your representation of God’s house in your community?

John F. Kennedy coined the phrase: Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country! (Wow! Could we retread that one today!) But let’s apply it to church: Ask not what a church can do for you.  Ask what you can do for your church!

Many hands make the load light. That’s one of my favorite sayings.

Our church ladies just enjoyed a wonderful retreat.  It was such a success because of all the help. One lady VOLUNTEERED to head up the food.  Another lady VOLUNTEERED to do a devotion on prayer and then gather the materials to make a 3×5 prayer notebook.  Someone offered pedicures, and another brought chocolate and molds so we could make candy for our loved ones since it took place on Valentine’s Day weekend.  There are so many jobs that could be done “in the name of Jesus.”  How do we show that we love Jesus?  So often, folks say, “Well, I put God first in my life, but that doesn’t mean that church has to come first.” There may be some truth in that statement; however, my question is this:

How do you show God that He is first in your life?

Does working at His house show that you love Him?  Does coming to His house show that you love Him?

Just some food for thought! 🙂 Take a look around, and take the plunge. If you don’t know what needs to be done, as the pastor! Just don’t give him a heart attack!  🙂

Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste?Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Haggai 1:4,5

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