This is a re-post of a note I published June 11, 2014 on Facebook. I am transferring my notes from Facebook into my Float the River blog.
There is a house being built in Sedona, AZ that I will be able to point to and say, “I helped build that.” When finished nobody in their right mind will just call it a house. That would be akin to saying Mt. Everest is just a mountain or the Colorado River is just a flow of water. All true but that would completely miss the mark of the grandeur of them all. I will call it a house because in its essence that is what it is and I can’t adequately put together the descriptors to do it justice. But I digress…
“Help” is a pretty broad term. I won’t be able to point to any part of this house and claim I had a hand in it. Nor was the completion or even the quality dependent on my being a part of the process. In fact, the first day on the job I pretty much felt like work was being created just to give me something to do (wow…that is pretty humbling even typing it!). I walked around the job site picking up trash. I sorted scrap lumber. I re-stacked concrete blocks. I organized rebar.
As work on this dwelling continued to move forward I was pressed into service cutting rebar, digging footings, assisting in taking and recording measurements (with a tape measure…I’m not skilled enough for any other instrument!) and many such tasks. Tasks that any semi-healthy person could accomplish.
As I continue to work on this project (and other job sites) doing much the same thing, I am reminded much about ministry.
#1 — Every task carries with it some level of importance whether I see it or not. My initial work of picking up trash and organizing materials wasn’t just busy work. Keeping the job site as clean as possible helps my employer look good to the neighbors and keeps the property owner happy. A clean and organized job site also is a safer, more efficient job site. In ministry, the behind the scenes work helps put people in a better place to worship, serve, and be ministered to. Jesus smiles on those who make the coffee, greet everyone who walks through the door, and clean the restrooms.
#2 — The non-skilled labor helps the skilled workers do their job with better quality and efficiency. Every piece of rebar I carry, every footing I dig and clean up, every tape I hold on a stake assists those who actually do the building by helping them stay focused on what they have been hired to do…and is most critical to the completion of the building. In ministry we often look down on ourselves or aren’t willing to devote real time and sacrifice if our work is not “up front work” like teaching or leading worship or directing ministries. So much ministry is accomplished because there were people willing to do the mundane and do it with excellence and passion. Thank you Jesus for those who set up and tear down, those who handout the bulletins, and those who show parents where their kids classes are. Thank you Jesus for nursery workers!!!
#3 — The property owner most likely won’t see me do my job and probably doesn’t even care to but he isn’t the one I am there for. I am there to work for my boss and support what he needs me to do. In ministry, what I do isn’t for the people around me, it is for the one who created me and died for me. Whatever I do is to be done to please Him and Him alone. When done with a heart of worship and faith, there is no work that is insignificant.
The projects I am a part of will get completed with or without me. Anyone can do what I have been hired to do. I am not critical, but that doesn’t mean what I do is not important.