The Dignity of God's Service

The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions. (1 Samuel 3:1 NIV)

The course of Samuel's life was set before he was born through Hannah's promise to God. She had dedicated him to God's service. And he became one of the great prophets of all time. But he didn't start out that way. He began with small jobs, jobs that seem meaningless, unimportant, and certainly don't appear to be jobs that would have anything to do with serving God. He opened the doors of the house of the Lord every morning (v. 15). He most likely swept the floors, dusted the furniture, and helped serve and clean up after meals. Mundane, ordinary chores – but chores necessary to keep the service of the Lord running smoothly.

Have you ever thought about what it takes to keep the physical plant of a church running smoothly so that you can enjoy your Sunday School class and your church service, much less all the other things that happen during the week? Most people don't stop to think about it. Just look at a little of the work that happens "behind the scenes".

If your church has a newsletter, it must be written, typed, formatted as pages on a computer for a master copy, and then printed. Someone must print mailing labels, apply them, sort for bulk mail, and take it to the Post Office. If you have a church bulletin, information for it must be decided upon – the songs, who's going to pray, any special activities that might happen. That, too, must be typed, printed, folded, and carried to the worship center. Arrangements must be made for ushers, seating must be arranged (unless there are stationery pews), and altar decorations prepared. The choir, soloists, organist and pianist have to practice their music. If the building is of any size at all, the sound system must be checked and microphones readied. If there is to be a baptism (or baptisms), the baptistry must be filled and ready. Your Sunday School teacher must spend many hours preparing to teach. And the pastor doesn't just leap up and begin to preach from out of thin air – many hours of preparation and prayer are necessary for him to present his sermons. Coffee doesn't just appear. Someone has to get there early, make the coffee, then distribute it. Who makes sure the building is unlocked, the lights are on, that the temperature is right, and that everything is clean and ready for the services? Who arranges for child care and cares for the children – missing the service themselves – so that you can enjoy your time at church? Who cleans everything, including the toilets, each week? And that’s just the beginning of the list!

There are so many, many things to be done. Have you passed up an opportunity to serve because the job just didn't seem important or dignified enough? If so, remember that each and every job that keeps the wheels turning at your church, no matter how mundane, no matter how ordinary, has great dignity – because each of them is done in service to the Lord.

From Newsong Ministries

Used with Permission