"What would you do for a Klondike bar?" Many of us may remember that slogan about the ice cream treat, and the things people would do to eat one. But, I also wonder what you and I are willing to do when it comes to our Faith, the Church, or for God?
What Would You do? Would you be willing to sacrifice your favorite seat in the church for a visitor or new family? Would you give up your "control" or "power" in the local church so that others could lead? Would you encourage new people to serve along side you in the ministries you've been serving in for years?
One of the biggest complaints I've seen from new or potential members over the years when visiting or attending a new church, is the feeling they are not welcome or not encouraged to help? That is sad beyond belief. Any Christians worth their salt should love and encourage others to serve along side them or should be mature enough to mentor, train, or get out of the way when new leaders or servers come up. No one should have to tell you that, if your heart and motives are in the right place, you should love to help or serve others, especially those who are new to the church or new to the faith.
Yet, we live in a world where most churches are full of people who are "set in their ways", "comfortable", and who do not want to "give up" anything, not their seats, not their status, not control, and not their traditions, nothing. Yet, they don't realize they are being selfish, hurting the church, and yes even holding back the church. This should never happen in the Lord's body. Anyone who is a member of a church should feel welcome to sit anywhere they want, dress how they want, and volunteer to serve where they feel led and gifted.
If our identity in the church is not in Christ, but in some ministry or service we do, we've lost the true meaning of serving in the first place, or we've forgot whey we serve and lead? It's for God! His glory! His Worship! His Purpose! We also have to realize that God wants to use us to serve others, help others, welcome others, encourage others, mentor others, and yes sometimes it means we have to be hospitable, welcoming, and helpful to new members, visitors, and potential future servants and leaders.
I don't think their is an age limit on serving or leading, but I do think their is an "effective" level. There comes a time when we've outlived our effectiveness in a ministry or position and it's time to turn it over to someone else and we need to be willing and able to do that, selflessly and without running others off because we don't want to give up our spot, or our place, or our purpose.
So, I ask the question to you again, What Would You Do? What would you be willing to do in order to see someone saved? To see someone place membership in your local church body? To see someone get plugged in to serving God at your church? To helping someone or mentoring them in their faith or giftedness?
We all need to be welcoming, hospitable, helpful, encouraging, supportive, self-less, and Christ-like no matter our age, our personality, or background. We also have to realize the church isn't ours, but God's and we are simply a part of it, like everyone else and we are not more valuable than the next person, we all are valuable to God and we need to be willing to do whatever it takes to make others feel welcome, accepted, and wanted by God and by us.
I'd give up my seat to see a visitor have a place to sit, I'd give up my time in order to mentor someone new in the faith or show them the ropes, I'd give up my position to someone else if they could do a better job, and I'd give up anything it will help the kingdom of God.
“Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.