Friday is the day some of the guys from Harbor Community Church get together for breakfast, fellowship, and some study of the New City Catechism. Today we didn’t get to spend much time on the question regarding Hell, and instead dialogued mostly about a few current events and specific needs. I had to leave a little bit earlier than usual to take my 6 year old to school, and was bummed to miss some of the conversation. A new question had been raised just as I was leaving, and yet I didn’t even have time to share any thoughts. While I would have loved to be there to offer input, what was happening needed to happen without me. Members were ministering to other members, and that’s one of the goals of pastoral ministry. Not to minister to everyone, but to equip people to minister to each other. One major takeaway from the book The Trellis and the Vine, was to consider the natural tendency to overlook “simple” member-to-member ministry of which individual church members are to be equipped. Instead the tendency is to say,”We need someone in this area…..” Serving in an “area” of the church, or a “team” or “teams” such as we have at Harbor is a vital part of church membership. But its only a part of it. So much ministry can go and should go on “behind my back” as individuals see needs, field questions, and opportunities arise. Paul reminds us that God uses pastors don’t build up the body but instead equip people to build each other up:
11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.-Eph 4:11-13
There was plenty of wisdom already at that table without me because there was plenty of Holy Spirit filled men. They didn’t need me. And sometimes it really does feel good to be left out.