Whose job is it to do the work of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ? Does the Bible give conflicting answers to this question?
After my last blog, in which I implored my readers to get involved in the work of caring for widows and orphans, I received a fair amount of feedback from people thanking me for helping them understand that they can’t wait around forever for someone else to do it, but rather they needed to get busy doing it themselves.
I was glad to hear these testimonies, but I got one that I was less glad to get, even though I wasn’t totally shocked by it. It came from an individual who I don’t hear from very often, but he’s on my Facebook friends list and he sent me an email, not rebuking me exactly, but pointing out (because I’d apparently forgotten) about Ephesians 4:11-13, which says,
“And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.”
He used this as a “proof text” to make his point that not everyone is “called to ministry” and that a person who is not called shouldn’t try to do something that they might make a mess of and bring shame, rather than glory, to the Kingdom.
I have to admit, he’s got a fragment of a point. Before setting out to do anything for the Kingdom, it’s very important to pray and fast and seek guidance from God in order to do it well and not get into something that one is not supposed to do, or that someone else is supposed to do.
But here’s where I think he made a mistake, and if you agree with him, where you’re making a mistake.
Isaiah 6:8 says;
Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
Luke 10:2 says;
And He was saying to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
Brothers and sisters, that sounds to me like there’s a whole lot of work to do and God is looking for people to do it. We’re in a “when can you start” type of situation where the main requirement is that one’s heart is willing.
Furthermore, there’s the Parable of the Talents from Matthew 25:14-30.
You’ll recall that in the story, the servant with one talent buried it in the ground and when asked about it he explains that he didn’t want to use the talent he’d been given because he didn’t think he’d get anything for himself for doing so. But it’s not difficult to imagine other reasons why he might not have used the talent he was given.
He might have seen the other two servants who were using their talents to increase their master’s estate and said to himself “well, those guys are doing plenty, and anyway, what can I do with one measly talent? They’re doing enough and anything I do won’t be very important and will just be a waste of my time.”
Brothers and Sisters, don’t be like that.
There is no unimportant work in the Kingdom, and whoever you are and whatever your circumstances, God has given you at least one thing that you can do for Him. Wherever you live, whatever kind of fellowship you attend and whatever kind of community you live in, there is far more work that needs to be done than there are workers to do it.
So, look around to see what work needs to be done for the Kingdom of Jesus Christ in your fellowship, in your neighborhood, in your community, and when you see it, be like Isaiah and say “Here am I. Send me.”
Go to your pastor and/or the elders of your fellowship and simply ask them what they need help with. I don’t know what they’ll say, but I know what they won’t say.
They WON’T say they don’t need any help.
If they do, that’s a really bad sign. It probably means that they’re the kind of “lazy and unprofitable servant” that the Parable of the Talents is trying to warn against, and it’s not good to be following such a leader.
May God give us all the wisdom, diligence and humility to be about our Father’s business.