October 1st represents the beginning of the new church and Sunday school year in many of our congregations. Generally, congregational elections are held to fill various church offices such as song leader, trustee, janitor, usher, Sunday school secretary, etc... While these jobs may sometimes seem insignificant, this work is very vital to the growth and success of our congregations. Our worship services and church life in general flow smoothly when elected workers faithfully fulfill their responsibilities. Let us consider some encouragement as we strive to do this special work.
We, first of all, must do our work as unto the Lord. “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ” (Col 3:23-24). When we realize that we are doing this work “as unto the Lord,” we will recognize that our work must meet His standard. Whether it is the work of the Sunday School superintendent or the work of a scrapbook committee member, the work should be done with special care and fervor because it is God’s work. When a worker labors “as unto the Lord,” he senses an accountability to God as well as to the brotherhood for his work.
Further, we should always remember that our work contributes to others, and is also enhanced by others. “Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building” (1Co 3:8-9). No certain person is called to do all of the work. God’s work in building the church stands much bigger than any one individual. One plants and another waters as we labor together. We must always value the input of others in our work. Every worker should seek to serve others as he faithfully does his job. The new trustee will not blindly push his own agenda, but will seek to labor harmoniously with his fellow trustees to honor the wishes of the congregation. An usher will do his best to serve his brothers and sisters by greeting worshippers pleasantly and seating them in a comfortable manner. We ought to willingly do the job that God calls us to do. “And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the Lord’s offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments” (Ex 35:21). A characteristic of a dedicated Christian worker is his willingness to do the work of God. An attitude of willingness enables a worker to do a good job. A willing song leader will prepare thoughtfully and prayerfully to lead the congregation in worship. A willing outreach committee member will enthusiastically schedule cottage meetings to bless the community. Willing workers procure God’s blessing on their work.
We also should strive to work in light of eternal values. “Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is” (1co 3:13). Sometimes it may be difficult to realize that the Sunday school secretary, the mailbox attendant, the auditor, or the audio and recording person is doing work that potentially has eternal value. But all of this work contributes to the building of the church of Jesus Christ. every piece of work in church life potentially builds or burns in light of eternity.
And finally, we know that our faithful labors will be rewarded. “And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward” (Matt 10:42). While faithfully laboring in the work of the church often brings a sense of personal fulfillment, the Scriptures also promises that Christ will reward His servants. What a glorious reality it will be for those who labored tirelessly and unselfishly to hear those words, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant…enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” Let us faithfully do our jobs that God’s work may prevail unhindered!
“For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness” (Psa 84:10).
~ Peach Bottom PA