Roles of a Lifetime

Christ is risen! And our role as followers of Jesus is to be instruments of resurrection in Christ’s name.

We are not called to be members of an institution (although being the Church together is essential.)  We are not called to “save people” (because there is only one Savior.)  We are not called to sacrifice ourselves/be crucified by the Church (although that sometimes happens.)

We are called to use our God-given gifts to equip other people to use the gifts God has given to them, as well.  (Check this out.)  Because of our baptisms, these are – literally – the roles of a lifetime.

A brilliant coach once taught me that effective ministry is all about understanding our roles.  And when Churches are in conflict it’s usually because roles have been confused and misunderstood.  For example:

  • It’s not the pastor’s role to unlock the doors and turn on the lights every Sunday. (If your pastor is doing that, then your leaders are both shirking and missing out on their own ministry.)
  • It’s not the personnel chairperson’s role to be “the pastor’s boss.” (The pastor’s “boss” is the congregation, the bishop/mid-council, etc. depending on your church’s polity.)
  • It’s not the church administrator’s role to keep pastoral care information from the pastor. (This is a power play.)
  • It’s not the music director’s role to control worship. (A healthy church staff works together on worship under the leadership of the pastor.)
  • It’s not the church treasurer’s role to decide if the pastor deserves to be paid this week.  (See: power play.)
  • It’s not the Church Ladies’ role to decide the norms of the congregation. (I have no further comments on this.)
  • It’s not the pastor’s role to be a spiritual Pied Piper.  (We want people to be in love with Jesus, not in love with the pastor.)

You get my point.  Our roles are about resurrection:

The blind see.  The lame walk. The lepers are cleansed. The deaf hear. The dead are raised. And the poor have good news brought to them.

This is what Jesus expects us to be about in the world.  What killed Jesus:  spiritual laziness, power plays, selfishness, fear, narcissism, the very worst that the Church can be.

But Jesus lives for all that is healing and whole and good and holy.  And because Jesus is resurrected, we get to participate in resurrection too.  If we indeed remember our baptisms – that we have been called to new life – then we will accept this role of a lifetime: to be agents of resurrection in the name of the One who lives.

And also Happy Earth Day.

Image by Laura Brodrick.  Source here.

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