When we take a look into our congregations, we might be surprised to see the preacher or some of the members doing all of the work and some of them doing nearly none of the work. And since we are preachers and our thinking can be somewhat narrow in scope, we immediately, like second nature assume that the member who is not taking part in the work is lazy, doesn’t love Jesus or the church and is therefore subject to looking at the underside of our noses as we look down on them. Brethren, these things are not always the case. I have seen firsthand the mistreatment that members have undergone when they do not fit into a clique containing the preacher, or some of the members.
It may seem odd, but members actually want to take part in the work of the church, but sometimes they lack real opportunity to do so. The preacher, elders or members will call upon one of their “approved” members for a task without considering someone else that may benefit from lending a hand to the work. We will mask this mistreatment under the guise of “Well, brother so-and-so excels in this area,” but little opportunity for another member to show expertise or lack thereof is never given.
Unfortunately, it has become the case in many of our congregations that we are treating the carrying out of the work of the church as if we are drafting our fantasy football teams! We will pick that fellow because he’s a good quarterback, and we pick that fellow because he is fast and will score a lot of touchdowns, but this line of thinking cannot be present in the church. Since we are all “living stones... being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 2:5) -- we are better than what we are showing we are.
You can’t pick your brethren. You are going to have members where you are preaching that disagree with everything you say, even if it is Book, Chapter, Verse. You are going to have members with little to no confidence and will to be encouraged and equipped. You are going to have members who will be stubborn and will need to learn that they actually need and want to serve the Lord but just don’t know it yet.
A preachers job is never easy, inspiring the uninspired, encouraging the downtrodden, speaking the Truth in love and rallying behind his brethren to accomplish the work. The Christian life indeed is the most fulfilling life to be had, and when we are all service and working and doing our best to seek and save the lost, we will see that everyone has a hand in this work; everyone has part which they are uniquely qualified to fill. “We, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another” (Romans 12:5). Our differences are not causes for cliques and mistreatment, but on the contrary, our differences are cause for thankfulness – God has made us a multi-colored, multi-faceted machine able to accomplish our goal from every angle. To God be the glory!