The church is a family and at times we will struggle with some of our closest relationships. When the family gets together it is important that we all pull up to the table and enjoy the feast. The temptation is to be busy with activity and miss out on the adoration of the head of our family, Jesus Christ. We know how important it is for everyone to have a role (a place of service) and key relationships (circle of friends) for our connecting in a healthy way. If you never sit down with the family and enjoy the meal you will lose touch with the family’s values.
Misunderstanding can happen very easily when we lose our focus and forget our priority of worship when we gather as a family. All you have to do is take a close look at Mary and Martha in Luke 10 to gain a better understanding of this principle. Serving is important but our busyness can rob us of the real reason we gather. We all need the time of worship to praise Him and to hear from Him out of the preaching and teaching of His word. According to Acts 2, the church placed a high value upon the teaching of the word, which unified them in their purpose.
Unfortunately, it is quite possible to come to church week after week and miss out on one of the most important aspects of our worship – the teaching of God’s word. If we desire our relationships to be right with our family members it all begins with the right relationship with Jesus Christ. Why is this so important? The one area that will suffer the most from poor choices and decisions are our relationships. It is unwise to always be busy and serving while never slowing down enough to pull up to the table and feast from the preaching of the word of God.
The reality is that some would rather be working with children or walking in the parking lot than to sit in the service long enough to hear what God might be saying to them that day. It is an easy habit to fall into but it is not a good habit nor is it healthy for that disciple’s spiritual walk.
First and foremost, all workers need to be challenged to keep the priority of worship every Sunday.
Is it right to have workers or teams week after week who are not in the worship services? All family members need to be confronted by the word of God so they might hear a sin they need to confess, a command they need to obey, or a promise they need to claim. Here are a few suggestions to ensure that everyone is able to pull up to the family table on a regular basis.
- Have a rotation basis for all of your teams and volunteers. Usually more people will serve if they know they have others helping also. Many are afraid to volunteer out of fear that they will be left to serve alone with no help in the foreseeable future. Think about a four – six week rotation basis for as many teams as possible, especially those who serve during the worship service.
- Make it clear from the beginning how important is that everyone worships more than he or she serves. You may decide to make it mandatory for three out of four services but be careful about making rules and regulations that sound good in the beginning but before long reek of legalism. Stress this when recruiting volunteers and cover this in a training session after they have agreed to serve. This expectation must be explained from the beginning or there will be misunderstandings. Do not expect what you have not made clear
- Decide if you really need them serving at that particular time. People love to fellowship and spend time together. The temptation here is to hang out together and talk about the weather, sports, and the news instead of focusing on worship. Before long you might see two or three people serving where you really only need one. If safety is the issue lock the door and place a note to inform those who may arrive late where to enter. Then instead of multiple people having to be misplaced you can potentially meet this need with one person.
- Evaluate what ministries are essential and what ministries might be able to be downsized. This is only a suggestion and may not work for you but our church has decided that if a child can sit in a classroom (1st grade and above) then they can sit in the service. Our motive is that we believe it is good for our children to see their parents, grandparents, and other adults worshiping. We desire to be a multi-generational church in practice not just in verbiage. We provide children’s worship bulletins and celebrate them being in the services with us.
- If the problem persists make sure you confront privately and do not scold publicly. Some of the best advice I have ever received was, “Don’t use an atom bomb to handle what a BB-gun can manage. We tend to blow many situations out of proportion and can be tempted to chew out a multitude of people for what one person is doing. Be wise and careful in how you handle and communicate with those who have decided not to cooperate. If you turn them into the victim then you have already lost the battle.
Psalm 122:1, “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.” Psalm 95:6, “O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker.”
DON’T ALLOW ACTIVITY TO ROB YOU OF YOUR ADORATION!!!