I have always loved church. When I was a child, no one forced me to attend – it was a thrill. The musicians, the choirs and the shouting were all so entertaining to me. As a child that is what church was for me: entertainment. As I grew older and began to understand more about God, I realized I needed more from church than entertainment.
Finding a ministry to be a part of in the church is not hard. It is true when they say 20% of the congregation does the bulk of the work. As a young adult I didn’t know my calling or the gifts God had given me so I joined every ministry I thought needed me. I sincerely wanted to be of assistance in the Body of Christ, I wanted to learn and grow in Him and I wanted to serve. As time went on I felt myself drawing away from God and closer to church work, you know…making programs, organizing events, ushering, choir rehearsals, Vacation Bible school, community outreach, etc. All of these are important and necessary but participating in these events should not replace your personal, intimate time with God.
Hebrews 10:25 says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching”. It is important that the Saints of God gather together to gain strength from one another and insight into God’s word, but there can be times when we use church as a crutch. When we spend all of our time doing church work, we cheat God out of the time He wants to spend developing us and maturing us for ministry. Sometimes we may feel that our church activities can stand in for our personal time with God. But this is not true. God doesn’t want your church activities He wants your heart. He wants you. We may find ourselves at church every day but not feeling connected to our Savior and even sometimes in sin. The devil works best when we are tired; too tired to fight temptation so burned out that we just want some relief.
You will find many times in the New Testament Jesus would steal away from the crowd and from the disciples and seek intimate time with the Father. It is necessary for us to take time to commune with God, this is where our strength lies, where we get replenished and receive instructions for the next move He wants us to make. How can we know God more intimately and be guided by Him if we never spend any time with Him?
For me it all started so slowly I didn’t even know what was happening until I was drowning in church work. I enjoyed the work I was doing but it was too much and most of it was not what God wanted me to do. I was at every function saying yes to every event. I didn’t realize my relationship with God was suffering greatly. I didn’t want to renege on any of the commitments I had made but I was no longer spiritually equipped to continue. God gave me an escape and I was able to operate in the ministry He had gifted me to function in and more importantly I was able to take time to reconnect with my Savior. I traded a church addiction for a Jesus addiction, wanting to know Him more becoming a seeker of His will for my life.
As Christians, we should focus on the work God intends for us to do and not overload our lives. I encourage every Christian to seek God for the answers. What gift has He put in you? What ministry does He want you to focus on and give all your ability to? We are not meant to do it all; each of us has individual talents and strengths God has placed in us that can be edifying to the Body of Christ. Ephesians 4:7-8 tells us, “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men”. Verses 11-12 go on to say, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.Satricia L. Moore Satricia@gmail.com