Ephesians 4: 11-12. And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers to equip the saints for the work of ministry for building up the body of Christ
Is it wiser to look at the Church as a provision for you or to see yourself as a provision for the Church?
Ask most people about their Church experience and you’ll discover categories of subtle discontentment to consuming frustration. “The worship’s too short/long, the music’s too loud, the message was too soft, too condemning, too long, they didn’t make me feel welcome,” and on and on. For starters, the Church is not supposed to be a one-way delivery system for our happiness or our fulfillment. Life in the Church was not designed this way, but for some reason this is the expectation many are addicted to. It’s an endless void that will have Church-goers Church-hopping, Church-bashing or Church-quitting, never discovering the perfect place – mostly because these Churchgoers haven't discovered their perfect place in the Church.
So here’s a new paradigm: Consider the fullness of your Church experience is broken up into parts that make up a whole. On a good day the pastor will deliver about 20% value, the worship may be another 15% to 25%, as for the hallway flyby fellowship, maybe another 10%. These percentages fluctuate, as humans are involved on both ends. But it leaves a percentage gap and the gap is this: Am I using my inherent gifts and abilities to serve into the body? If at any point you’re not adding value to your Church using your gifts and talents, you are missing out on the combined value experience that Church was meant to be. In fact, I’ve never seen anyone actively experiencing the fruits of their calling in a Church body to have the time, energy or focus to complain about the things that may be missing or what they see wrong.
It’s because our fulfillment is found in a fully integrated experience, not in isolated categories so easily judged because the Church may not be giving us what we think we need, or others are having an off day. It’s amazing how much more the Church will give us when we give more into the Church. It’s the difference between being a Church-goer and a Church-grower.
The question is: Do I have a healthy receive/give balance in my Church life that adds up to an experience I’d never get tired of?
Dean is Principal and Chief Creative Officer at Breviti – an award winning business branding agency in Laguna Niguel, CA, (breviti.com) and is a partner at VeracityColab, a video marketing agency in Aliso Viejo, CA. (veracitycolab.com) He is also an author on the topics of personal and business branding and speaks at companies and event venues to help improve individual and corporate performance. You can learn more at deandelsesto.com.