As I started into my day, I ran across the following piece by Bill C. Konstantopoulos, whose story I will share in the next few days. This piece came from a compilation Bill put together called Piercing the Darkness With Rays of Truth, to be introduced by Reformation Publishers at Winchester, KY in May.
Most readers do not likely attend the Winchester meeting, but when you move beyond labels et al you find surprisingly good things most every place. At any rate, this short op-ed makes an important point, and it is a point that the average pastor in the Church of God, Anderson is rather oblivious to today. See what you think of the point that Bill makes.I have to agree ...
We live in a society that is highly competitive and success-oriented. Each one of us has dreams and aspirations,and the me-ism philosophy motivates a lot of people.
Sometimes the me-ism attitude is manifested in the Church.How often do we hear people in the Church say, “my ministry,” “my church,” “my talents” projecting the kind of attitude that says, “Everything that God is doing revolves around me.”
But the Apostle Paul tells us that both our life and ministry is inter-dependent. “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” (I Corinthians 3:9). Again he says, "We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain” (II Corinthians 6:1).
In the first verse Paul tells it is because of God that we are workers together or “fellow-workers”. It is the same enabling grace of God that has thrust us into the ministry,therefore we must consent one to another, we must cooperate one with another, and we must be committed one to another. If it is God who works in us and through us all, then our ministry is supportive and submissive and not subversive or seclusive. In the second verse, the Apostle tells us that we are literally “workers together with God”. He is by our side and we are by His side. We are not labouring on our own strength or following our own dreams.
Next time when you are down or discouraged, think of that and meditate on Arthur Gossip’s experience. Arthur Gossip, a hard-bitten pastor in a slum church in Glasgow, tells of how, at the end of a long day of visiting his parishioners, he arrived late in the afternoon at a five-story tenement where the last family on his list for that day lived at the very top. He was done in and said to himself, “It’s
too far up. I’ll come tomorrow.” He was about to turn away when a pair of stooped shoulders seemed to brush past him and start up the stairs with the words, “Then I’ll have to go alone.”
Arthur Gossip added, “We went together.” Either way you look at it, we are labourers together with God.
I think Bill nailed this one down right and proper. The person that tries to make this journey by himself is only fooling himself or herself. It is a fact that we do need each other, and we ought to act like it.
From Warner's World, I find the journey more comfortable knowing you are part of the journey (regardless of your agreement or disagreement). Me-ism has no place in church ministry.