Have you ever preached a message, then walked away from the pulpit feeling like the message was more for you than anyone in the congregation?
I preached one of those last night. The title of it was Being Fruitful. In John chapter 15, Jesus lets us know that if we are going to be a part of the vine, that we are going to have to be fruitful. I'm not sure we totally understand what that means. Often times we allow ourselves to be overwhelmingly busy with situations that will never be fruitful. So much of a ministers time is spent on things that if we were to take the time to think about it, could be delegated. People will let you do all the work if you let them. They will smile at you, thank you and tell you that you are the greatest thing that ever happened to their church. But ultimately you have to ask yourself, what am I really accomplishing that is relative to my calling.
The scripture tells us to make our calling and election sure. Of course it is calling us here to settle in our minds what is our calling. However, it is saying more than that to us. It is telling us also to know our job description. I have learned by Pastoring, that people will let the Pastor mop the floors, shovel the sidewalks, cut the grass, and nearly every other menial task of the church if he lets them. There is a certain source of self gratification that comes with having done some manual labor. It is even good exercise. However, we truly have to ask ourselves, is this my calling. Did God call me to this city to mop the kitchen floor and to cut the grass? Did he call me here to teach every single Bible Study? If you answered yes to those questions, then keep at it. However, you are about to find that the human body is only capable of so much. As well, your mind can only take in so much information.
If however, you were called to that city to Preach the Gospel and Pastor a church, you may need to learn the art of delegation. Finding someone to accomplish a simple task is not as hard as we make it. It might be as easy as making a list of areas you need help with and putting it on the bulletin board of the church. Let people sign up to help you. God brought those people to your church for more reasons than paying a tithe and showing up on time. He brought them into your local assembly to help you raise up a church for the name of Jesus.
Reaching the lost is not just the Pastor's job. In fact, your soul winning efforts would be better served by teaching and training others to be soul winners. Now we all know that you may be better at it than they are, but training and delegating others may serve to bring more results. The scripture tells us that we are chosen and anointed to bear much fruit. I'm not sure I fully understand this idea of much fruit. I'm only capable of so much. However, by using the many talents and abilities of those placed in my care, much fruit can be harvested.
We spend so much time on things that bring no real fruit. Anything that does not bear fruit should be stopped. Just because your church did it last year is not a good reason to do it this year. Don't allow traditional events to stay on the church calendar. If the end result of an event or meeting brought no real fruit (souls), don't do it again this year. Your time is much too valuable. And frankly so is the time of your people. They will work and they will work hard for the kingdom when they see real fruit. Cleaning the church won't seem like such a chore when it's their family member who is visiting the church that weekend.
Get them involved in ministry. Teach them how to teach Bible Studies. Explain to them how to pray with people in the altar. Then hold them accountable for what you have shown them. Their joy needs to be full too. There is no greater joy for an individual or a church body than being fruitful in the Kingdom. They will worship like never before when the alter is filled with new people.
Being busy might impress some people. Being fruitful impresses God. A ministers time is best served teaching and training, not cleaning and building. If there is physically no one else to do it, then that is one thing. But you should look hard and long before you take the precious time God has given you to labor in the Word, before you do it yourself. Delegate!
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