Monday, February 20, 2006

CrossTies Devotional Article For February 19, 2006

More Than One Member
By Bill Denton

For the body is not one member, but many. (1 Corinthians 12:14, NASB95)

Dear Preacher:     There are 566 members in our church, but 100 are frail and elderly.  That leaves 466 to do all the work. However, 80 are young people away at college. That leaves 386 to do all the work.     However, 150 of them are tired businessmen, so that leaves 236 to do all the work. 150 are housewives with children. That leaves 86 to do all the work.     There are also 46 members who have other important interests. Which leaves 40 to do all the work, but 15 live too far away to come regularly.     So that leaves 25 to do all the work. And 23 of them say they've done their part. So, preacher, that leaves YOU and ME and, frankly, I'm exhausted.Good luck to you.A. Member
          Source Unknown

I’ve read several variations on this little illustration.  The numbers vary but the point is the same.  There are many people who make up a church, then it ends up with only one doing all the work.  I’m thankful that’s not true about our congregation.  I continue to be impressed by the number of folks who are actively involved in making our congregation busy and accomplishing good things.  We try to involve everyone who is willing to help, and for the most part, I believe the greater number of people in our church are quick to jump in and participate.

I know that in lots of places it’s not quite like that.  There are lots of churches that match the little illustration above.  Even in churches like ours where the majority of people do pitch in, there are still a few who seem to think “church” only means a place to get things, not to give.

Over the years I’ve heard from some of those folks.  They are the ones who get upset because someone didn’t do something for them.  They seem to be extremely sensitive to being overlooked, left out, ignored, or forgotten.  Sometimes, it seems that people have a great propensity for overlooking all the good that is done for them, unless one of the “special” people do it.  I once knew a family whose daughter was terminally ill.  Numbers of people sat with them at the hospital, prayed for them, cooked meals, etc.  After the daughter died, they were very critical, commenting that the church hadn’t done much for them.  I understand about grief, but I also understand that this was their view long before, and long after, the death of their daughter.  I’ve known others who seemed to think that nobody else’s prayer counted unless the preacher came by to pray.  Once, I met an elder and his wife coming out of a lady’s hospital room where they had just visited.  When I went in, the lady said, “I’ve waited all day for someone to come pray for me.”  Did the elder pray for her?  Yes, but I guess it didn’t count.  The body of Christ is more than one member.  Any particular congregation is more than one member.  It takes all of us, and the more the better.  When the body works well, don’t ignore it.

© Copyright  2006, Dr. Bill DentonAll Rights Reserved.Articles may not be reprinted in any "for profit" publication without further permission by the author. Articles may be freely distributed via e-mail, reprinted in church bulletins or in other non-profit publications without further permission. Please keep this copyright and Web Site information intact with copied articles. Articles are sent originally to subscribers only. You may have received a forwarded or reprinted copy.
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