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  • David

    January 13, 2023 at 5:58 am

    The Seedbed Daily Wake-Up Call, January 13, 2022

    It’s is good to have JD back, no offense meant to our two guest commentators. Once again, there is a lot in today’s reading and a lot I could comment on. Much of what I could comment on, I said yesterday and I am not surprised that JD got some push back, probably from clergy and laity alike.

    He continues this line of thought with his reflections on Anna today. His closing paragraph touched a sore spot in my heart: “This, my friends, is not church work (referring to what Simeon and Anna did). It is the work of the church. It is the calling of every follower of Jesus. The time for the busy-ness of church work has long past. The time for the real work of the church—the work of the everyday ordinary people of God—is upon us. The time has come to sow for a great awakening.”

    I have spoken about the “busyness of church work” here many times before. In my experience, the focus of lay participation in most churches is on volunteering to do church work and not on being a true partner in Ministry, the actual work of the Church. Now before all of you jump on me, volunteers are needed and there are certain functions (church work) that are needed in order to operate an effective church. Some falsely use Acts 6:2-3, the choosing of the seven, to justify the division of labor between the pastor and staff and the laity as it regards volunteering and church work, but read the whole chapter and read JD’s footnote to the paragraph above. It was not waiting tables that got Stephen stoned. He was stoned for doing what Anna did, “she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.”

    So how do we address the false dichotomy that has been created between the people of God and the work of God? Between being a spectator or a participant. Between being a real partner in Ministry or just a volunteer. JD is spot on when he uses the analogy of coaches and players. In my view, the role of the pastor and staff and even some non-staff is that of coach, equipper, and enabler of the players, the laity (see Ephesians 4). This also implies and requires a team approach to Ministry, which is missing in many churches, even some of those who advocate this approach. I think I will leave it here for now.