For the past few years, I have been attending what is commonly called a “mega-church”. The pastor is one of the most skilled communicators that I have ever come across and the music ministry is breathtaking to say the least. The bookstore is convenient, the children’s programs are remarkable and the baptisms make it all worthwhile. There is, however, one tiny problem…there are too many people!
In our time with this church, both my husband and I have attempted to join the missionary program overseas but found ourselves silently rejected as a result. Not only was my time unwanted, but I wasn’t even given an acknowledgement of my submission. It seemed as if I was just invisible amongst the vast numbers in attendance and that my time was unnecessary in the grand scheme of things.
“The greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.” – NIV
To our disappointment, our culture’s churches and ministries often resemble worldly institutions with their power structures, chains of command and man-made methods. Whose ministry is bearing more fruit? Is this person contributing enough to be taken seriously in the congregation? Do we even want that person to volunteer?
In the face of ministry rejection, what is the next step for parishioners? If we are not selected to serve in the area we desired, does that mean that we are not to serve at all? Can we sit back, blame the ministry, and say “hey, I tried.” I am ashamed to say that I took this dismissal and morphed it into a deep-seeded bitterness. I have not volunteered my time for any other ministry in need. I have not accepted that this was not my time and I have blown no wind into the sails of those who would become missionaries.
I read once that we must be silent before we can listen. We must listen before we can learn. We must learn before we can prepare. We must prepare before we can serve. We must serve before we can lead.
I hate getting prepared…