“The eyes cannot say to the hand, ‘I do not need you.’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I do not need you.” 1 Corinthians 12:21
“Heart for the House.” What does that even mean? What does it look like to heave a heart for the house? It’s an idea that there is no one place of service in your church, there is no one position on a team, there is no one person in the ministry that is more important than the next. The pastor can still deliver a message without a fancy headset microphone, a fully-lit stage, a ProPresenter presentation, and a myriad of other items. A worship leader can still lead worship without a pedalboard, a band and without a sound person, even. But would they be as good? Would it be as impactful? Would the message and the worship be the best it possibly could be? Probably not (“But Fox,” you ma be arguing, “we don’t need fancy lights and a $90k sound system to bring lead people to Jesus!” True. But that’s not where this article is going, so please hold fast against comments and insinuations of that nature), because the supporting technicians and technological infrastructure is not in place to execute continuously at the level that our congregants, our pastors and our God have demanded of us. Would people show up to church if there was nobody there to take out the trash each week? Or clean the toilets? Or make sure the lights in the building are one? Make sure the gates and doors are unlocked, or make sure you have a fresh cup of probably-not-that-good coffee? Probably not. People are fickle, greedy and petty. Especially Christians! If you don’t believe me, ask yourself when the last time someone complained that they didn’t have something, or you were angered because you were only getting the backing tracks in your left ear instead of in stereo. There is no one person on your team, on your staff that is more important than the next. Not everyone has a fancy “pastor” title, but everyone is equal in the eyes of God, and we should be striving to emulate that view in our own lives. Am I a worship leader? No, but that worship leader could not function at his best without me (or someone like me) behind an audio console throwing faders. Likewise, I wouldn’t have a job if there were no worship leaders to throw those faders for. We are all in this together, this act of worship, this act of service.
“The greatest among you will be your servant.” Matthew 23:11
Service without sacrifice is empty, and it’s only function is to be self-fulfilling to yourself. Think you’re too important to show up on-time, or good enough to warrant not needing to practice, or too “edgy” to serve in a traditional service, too “traditional” to serve in a contemporary service, or too experienced to serve in a children’s service? Check your heart, because you don’t have a heart of service or a heart or the house. You have a heart of self-promotion and pride. You’re not special. Having a heart for the house is borne from a place of service to the greater cause, in spite of what you’d prefer, in spite of how much it inconveniences you. Your team meet for an early devotional before rehearsal beings, but you don’t come because “it’s too early?” Not a heart for the house. Don’t want to serve in a traditional service because their music is dated and you’re not into that? Not a heart for the house.
I’m going to be straight with you. I struggle with this, too. I don’t have a problem having a heart for the house when it comes to worship ministry, but I have a hard time having a heart for the house when it comes to things outside of that line of business. I am quick to say “no” to serving at memorials, assisting in weekday ministries or evening classes. Sometimes, it’s justified that I cannot serve somewhere. I work in full-time ministry, and sometimes I simply don’t have the time to serve somewhere that will take me away from duties that need to be accomplished in order to make sure that we are prepared for the weekend. But sometimes, I try to convince myself that I am saying “no” to something for genuine reasons, when the reasons are actually selfish and disingenuous. If the church needs you to serve, you should answer the call. Regardless of how much it inconveniences you, cuts into your television shows, or tediously boring it is. Not serving because of selfish reasons is doing a disservice to that ministry, your church, it’s congregants, and to God. The church could not survive without janitors, maintenance teams, tech people or musicians.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.” Romans 12:1
Above all things, you should serve with a joyful heart. Regardless of where that service is. God calls us to service, and we should be glad to answer that call. It is an honor and a privilege and something that we GET to do – not something that we have to or are obligated to. I love you guys (and gals), and I’m so happy to be able to walk through ministry with you. I don’t get to write often, but when I do, it’s ridiculously fulfilling to share this thing called life.