The Weekly Epistle 4/24/24

Hi Living Hope Family,
A well-known college football coach defined the game of football as, “twenty–two men on the field desperately needing rest and thousands in the stands desperately needing exercise.”
 
In sports, the athletes get all the exercise, and the spectators get all the rest. Yet often the typical church faces the same dilemma: a few needing a rest and too many sitting and watching. It is often said that the typical church is made up of 20% of the people doing 80% of the work.
 
The problem with the 80/20 statistic is that ministry cannot be defined simply by what is going on inside the church walls. As each of you live out your faith in your community, jobs, family, and various locations and circumstances, bearing witness to the grace of our Lord Jesus, that is ministry. Whenever and wherever you conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the gospel, that is ministry. When you touch a life throughout your week or show the love of Christ to someone,
that is ministry. And there are many other examples I could give of ways you are ministering to others.
 
My point is that Christianity is not a spectator activity. It assumes involvement and participation. Followers of Jesus are dispersed throughout the Lakes Region in their various callings and contexts who are living for Christ. I want to encourage you to see all that you do in living for Christ falls under ministry.
 
When people ask me what I do for a living (my least favorite question), I usually answer, “I am a minister.” And that is true in the professional sense. But the truth of it is, all who belong to the Christian Church are ministers. That is why on the back of the church bulletin after listing the elders, trustee, and church staff, it lists the ministers. What does it say? Who are the ministers? “Everyone.” All of God’s people are ministers.
 
So, when it is said that 20% of the people are doing 80% of the work, there is some truth in that, but it doesn’t give the full picture. Working at your jobs, raising your kids, caring for your families, relating to your neighbors, loving on people, and serving others can rightfully be called ministry. In that way, you shouldn’t hang your heads in shame, when asked to get involved at Living Hope.
 
The church does need your help to better share the load of ministry within the body of Christ. You will hear about some of that as we meet together this Thursday night to learn what God is doing in our church. In order to continue to grow and function most effectively as a church, it does require more involvement from more people.
 
What I have experienced is that when we serve together there is a bond like nothing else. For example, this past weekend at the March Madness tournament, what a blessing it was to see so many people serving together. It was so much fun serving with the church family. And we all got to know each other a little bit better. When we serve together we get closer to each other, we can get more done, and we can accomplish great things for God.
 
“God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.” Believer, you are a necessary part of Living Hope!
 
One of the ministers, Pastor Brian