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Getting It All Done

November 15, 2008

1Co 12:12 The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.

So much to do, and so little time!

How can a Christian fulfill all his or her responsibilities in this modern world? Everyone wants a piece of our time: the day job, the household chores, the children, the spouse, the neighbors, the relatives.

Oh, yes, also the church. Sunday service, midweek service, small group meetings, Bible study, prayer, evangelism, feeding the homeless, visiting the sick, taking meals to the bereaved, children’s classes to be prepared and taught, adult classes, newsletters to be written, struggling members to be helped, and relationships with other congregations to be maintained. There are conferences and retreats. There are budgets and facilities requiring attention. All that, and more.

How can anyone do all of that and stay sane?

The answer, I think, is that we cannot. We have to specialize. That’s the message of 1 Cor 12. Not everyone does everything. Each member finds a place to serve and does it to the best of their ability.

There are a few things we cannot delegate.

Every Christian is responsible to love his neighbor, through meeting physical needs as well as sharing the gospel. But those are things we do as we go about doing all the things we do in life. They are not scheduled slots on the calendar.

Every Christian needs to meditate on the scriptures and pray. We cannot call Jesus Lord if we do not learn and obey his will.

Specialization is even more important for leaders. The apostles demonstrated that when they selected the seven to take care of the Grecian widows:

Act 6:2 So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables.
Act 6:3 Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them
Act 6:4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”

No one can do everything. That is why we need the other parts of the body. We need to let them do their parts.

But the truth is that most of us are far too busy with things of this world. Two income families have little time left for all the other responsibilities. After a long day at work, the kids and the household demand all the remaining time and energy. Who has time to go to a small group meeting? Who has the energy to serve?

There is a better way — a way that puts the things of God ahead of our worldly pursuits. The better way runs counter to the culture in which we live. But then, that shouldn’t surprise us. God calls us to live a different kind of life.

Rom 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

In the next post I’ll lay out the basics of that different way of life. Be prepared for a hard teaching. I hope we can accept it.

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One comment

  1. yes….i have been reading St Francis. He said (basically) joy comes from living in the present. So when we are at church. or doing the dishes we need to focus on the present and not constantly mentally thinking about the other 9,000 things we are doing next..Haven’t had much luck with that.



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