Doing for the Church

Doing for the Church

I bet in my lifetime alone I have heard thousands of sermons and added info about how everyone in the church needs to be doing for the church.  Most churches in the evangelical world do teach that you should not take up space in the church but be out there doing (a lot of them what they think you should be doing) You should be totally zealous and everyone should be doing something in the church in Christian service.  Some say it so much that many people get tired of someone trying to make them feel guilty all the time and they just leave the church and some never return.  Guilt is not the route to go.  That job belongs to the Holy Spirit who knows quite well what and how to get us to do things.


It is like many churches are pep rallies for get to work and if you don’t somehow you don’t love God.  Do more, be more, and the one that only 20% of the people are doing anything.  Really?  Only 20% doing for God or doing for the church?


We are told we must get out there and shake the world for God…pep rally.  Feel like you might be at the “big game”?  In fact, many have heard the term that it is better to burn out for God than to rust out.  Although this might sound wonderful and like great doctrine…is it?


How many pastures, evangelists etc., have you heard that you must serve Jesus and burn out in the end until there is nothing left to give Him.  Surrender all (surrender all what?) It sounds really good.  They have altar call after altar call saying you must commit to the Lord and many come forward.  Most don’t really understand what they are claiming to submit too, and most lie because they know they are not going to do what the pastor says no matter how good it sounds.  I hear from these people.  I hear what people say. 


God doesn’t want us to burn out in the first place…He wants us to burn on!  Big difference.  The idea that we should burn out instead of rust out comes from a mistaken notion that it has to be either/or.  The lie fits those easily that have some personality types…those driven people.  It is all or nothing!  Either you will burn out in service of Christ or you will rust out from inactivity. 


These are not the only options although many a pastor will make it sound that way.  God wants us to burn on and on, fueled continuously and refreshed by His unending life and power not on guilt that we have to do something a certain way. 


There are thousand of people working in churches day and night, doing, doing, doing, and they have absolute no relationship with God…they just do work because they feel that they are doing their part somehow so all is well.  Even Jesus said to some that did this, “I never knew you…depart from me.”  I am not saying don’t do for God, don’t work for God, don’t do in church for God.  Yes, of course do what God leads you to do…not out of guilt by what someone tells you, but out of love led by God.


Many want to do more and when they can’t they are made to feel like they just didn’t do their part.  Are you their judge? We all get tired because God created us human and we live in physical bodies.  But this is not what they call burn out.  You can become worn out but then you also can find refreshment after a time of rest, recreation, and sleep. 


Okay…keep going here.  As strange as it may seem, to burn out in your Christain walk may be the best thing that could happen to you because you first need to ask yourself who, what, when, where, how, why, application, and what is this doing to me and why.  We can do so much in church we miss church! We can do so much thinking we are furthering the kingdom we are the ones that miss the  message and the kingdom.  We do so much on our ability and/or out of guilt we miss the love of why we should be doing things.  We do so much we abandon God to somehow prove we are part of the church doing what the church wants us to do while missing what God wants us to do.  And before I go further….all churches need help, all churches need money to function, but even churches have forgotten it is God who provides and you don’t need to bully people into giving.  God knows how to tug on hearts to give out of love and compulsion. Burning out is a bad thing if it causes you to stall out in your walk living in a state of self-condemnation about the fact that we aren’t doing what we imagine we should be doing. 


It is very easy for others to point their fingers and say do this or that and put people on a guilt trip.  You see, personally, I have found out that when I give each day to God He finds things for me to do for Him.  Maybe He will tell me to do this or that and that this or that is my calling and do more here or there and I will do it, but sometimes we get so tied up in doing we miss our relationship with God.  What good is all the doing if the very one you claim to be doing things for someday says, “I never knew you, depart from me?” 


What we need is genuine service to and for God…not out of guilt, but out of love.  We should serve because we are already loved by God and He loved us first.  I don’t need anyone else trying to make me feel guilty, I need people to lift me up and God to give me the job He wants me to have.  Just because others think you are good at something and should be doing something does God feel that way?  You see, you might be called to something totally different.


Many people serve God because they feel that He will accept them for their service, long hours, and going and doing, but He loves and accepts you already, and it is wonderful to do things for God, but without a relationship daily with Him…all those good works…what do they do for  you? You are righteous in Christ but you try to become worthy of God’s acceptance by driving yourself to do more and more and you miss your time with God and you miss listening to what God has for you to do.


Paul explained his motivation for the things he did.  “For the love of christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died, and He died for all, so they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)


Paul didn’t serve Jesus out of compulsion.  He didn’t serve because he was forced to do so.  He wasn’t trying to prove something to God, to others, or to himself by trying to burn out.  He served out of the overflow of the love of christ that flooded his heart and soul. I want to serve God out of love like Paul did.  I don’t want the guilt trips and you must do this or that or you are not doing your part.  You don’t know me nor do you know what my calling is or what God has placed on me to do.  I don’t know what God has called on you to do either.  You see, God looks at our hearts and if we allow Him we will do the very thing He called us to do…not what we think it is, not out of guilt, not because the church told us…but because God did.


Paul did what he did for God not because he was trying to be good enough to be loved.  He was loved.  He was not trying to earn his way to heaven either.  It was the love of christ he said, that compelled him…Paul’s knowledge and experience of the transforming love of Jesus Christ.  Christ’s love and grace are so overwhelming that whatever God gave him to do he would do it out of love and relationship…not compulsion by others. It is Christ’s love that motivated Paul, and it is Christ’s love that should motivate us.  No one will burn out if what they do for God is motivated by God, but they will burn on…not out!


When someone is burned out it is actually misguided goal because it disconnects ufsfrom the means and person we say we want to serve in the first place. We are not to serve God by our own determination or power, we are to serve according to the power and the indwelling Christ.  Human willpower is not what is needed it is God’s willpower through and in us that will give us the strength and power to go on out of love.  Paul wrote, “For this purpose I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me” (Colossians 1:29)  I want to work in His power not my own.  My own doesn’t go to long, makes wrong choices, listens to those that say do this or that when God has something totally different for me personally to do. 


I see people all the time run to the altar week after week for the same thing and that is truly between them and God.  They make commitment after commitment and rededicate themselves over and over.  But ultimately human strength and resources will run out.  But God’s strength and resources never run out.  Does running to the altar change you if what you are claiming isn’t there anyway?  Does God not hear your prayer no matter where you are?  Does He only show up for church?  Doesn’t He live in you as the Holy Spirit to guide and help you 24/7?  Do you talk to Him daily asking for His guidance and help?


Now….listen…God doesn’t need us to survive or for anything…we need HIm.  We don’t have to adopt the burden of figuring out what god is doing all over the world a meeting all the needs.  Some are called to go into the mission field, and some are called to tell others in their work place, out shopping, wherever…the point is that God is a lot smarter than we are and He puts us where we should be not where others think we should be.  We walk through our daily lives and find opportunities to serve that He has prepared for us.  Our ordinary life becomes a victorious life when what we do and when we do it comes from God who will give us the know-how to accomplish whatever it is He has called us to do.  Another thing is God might have you do this for awhile and then change what He wants you to do…remember He is the creator and He does the molding. 


When we serve God then what we do no matter how hard it might be it will be uplifting, nourishing, and fulfilling, not a distasteful responsibility.  We get reenergized and alertness from God when we are serving in the position that God has called us into and it is not burn out…but burn on!  Jesus is our living water, our refreshing, the air we breath, He is our heartbeat.  God lifts us up in whatever place we are if what we are doing is what He wants us to do in the first place.


Many out there serve diligently in what they think is their calling and many out of guilt.  I want to serve God out of love, help others out of love, be there uplifted in Jesus so whatever I share with another person uplifts them and encourages them.  I don’t want to serve God out of guilt.  I want to serve God because He loved me first and because He did I can love Him now in whatever what He calls me to.  I don’t want people trying to make me feel condemned to do something, I want God’s blessings in whatever He calls me to do. 


I don’t need a human taskmaster, I need God who no matter what He gives me to do as His slave, His child, His servant…whatever someone wants to call it.  I want to do what I do out of love for Him and when I do then 100% of what I do for Him can be used to glorify Him and nothing to make me feel better by thinking I am the one doing anything.  I do because of Him, I breath because of Him, I thirst because of Him and He is the only one who fills my needs and loves me back 24/7 no matter who else out there shuts me down. He is loving, kind, compassionate, healing, and I desire to serve Him out of love than all the guilt anyone could/can ever try to place on me.


I was weary and heady laden-He gave me rest.  The yoke was upon me-and He lifted it up and carried it.  My heart was broken beyond belief and He mended it.  I was lost and He found me.  I was hurting and He held me.  How in the world could I ever get burned out knowing the creator of the universe holds me in His hands, keeps even my tears, and is always here with me?  People can toss whatever my way and they might be things that hurt and for a time keep me down, but I run to my Jesus who is always here with me, and He picks me up, dusts me off, and says to go this way or that way, and He has never left me down.  No, I will serve God in the capacity He gives me and if that is doing whatever in church for a lifetime then I will, but if that is serving in another capacity I will do that as well.  I answer to Him.  He called me and He might send me here or there and I might have lots of adversity at times, but there He is….He walks with me.  You can knock me down…but He will lift me up. 


Jesus said he was truth and freedom.  I love church.  I love relationship with those in church.  I love worshiping with others of like faith…but if I never stepped into a church again in the natural I am so blessed because Jesus lives in me and I carry His church everywhere I go.  I falter at times, but He is always here with me. 


So do not think this is a church bashing, or a don’t do for your church bashing.  It is quite the opposite.  Do what God gives you to do.  You will bless the church which is not a building in the first place.  The church is Jesus Christ.  We are His bride.  He loves His bride and whatever He gives you to for however long He gives you to do it…do it cheerfully.  God calls many to serve in a church and that is an absolute wonderful thing, but God also calls others to many other things and those are just as wonderful as well.  But don’t give up meeting in church and fellowshipping with others.  Lift each other up in the love Jesus has for all of you.  Each person is precious and no matter if they are a baby Christian or a long standing mature Christian God always has a purpose and plan at the level the person is. 


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