By Pastor Rasheed Z Baaith
…and they came and did work in the house of the LORD of hosts, their God.” (Haggai 1:14 c)
If we study the history of Jesus Christ, it is very evident the lessons he both taught and exemplified are those of being a committed servant. He would have been unable to accomplish all he did if he had been otherwise. Unfortunately, it is a lesson many in the Houses of the Lord have refused to learn.
I do not think it is because they are bad people. I believe it is because when they think of Christ, they only see the culmination of His mission and not the long, laborious path of that mission.
Just as the Father called the Son to serve, Christ has called the Church to service. None of our Churches should be lacking in volunteers for different ministries in place to serve God’s people. No Church member should feel comfortable in not giving time to help their church help others and help itself.
Some of us believe that because we tithe, we are doing enough. We’re not. Tithing is indeed crucial to the wellbeing of a church. How can it not be? While the Church should not be viewed as a business, the church has business. No matter how anointed we are or how insightful the teaching or how powerful the choir is, FP& L wants their money at the end of the month. So, our tithes are important. But so is the time we give the church when not in worship services. Your time is not a “want” for the church, it is a need.
There are not any reasons except for health-related ones that justifies members not giving time, suggestions, encouragement and participation for the ministries of their church. It is to the great, great shame of our churches that the same members serve on 3, 4, or 5 Church ministries at the same time. And only because these are among the very few who have a mind to serve. Even when the pews are full.
Church folk do not understand that while the church benefits in some ways from their gift of time to the Church, it is they who will receive the greatest reward. To serve it to exhibit the Mind of Christ. Even more, if that Christ mind becomes a spiritual condition the body is touched by, the church becomes the church we read of in the Bible.
The Church then stops being a theological construct and becomes authentic. We stop acting like the building is the church and understand the church is the people.
Jesus said, “But I am among you as he that serveth.” And I am sure He meant not just in the sanctuary. In our communities and in our churches, we have children that need tutoring, single parents that need encouragement, youth ministries that scream for adult involvement, Singles ministries that cry out for relevant spiritual guidance and so much more.
The Church is after all in a war with an enemy who does not ask for quarter or give any. But we did not come to surrender; we are here for the victory. We’re all in the Lord’s army and we all need to report for duty. We need and must serve.