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Effectual Work

Last week Kensi, the boys and I were working on a few things at the building and before we knew it, it was quite late. I told Kensi that she and the boys could go on to the house and I would swing by a particular fast-food establishment to grab some food to bring home. I sat in the drive-thru for quite a while but was not waited on and the cars were beginning to pile up. I decided to pull out of the line, park my truck, and go inside to order. I went into the establishment and ordered our food. Then I waited…and waited…and waited.I am generally a very patient person. I don’t mind sitting and waiting since I have worked in the fast food industry and am quite aware of how crazy it can be, so I empathize with the workers. Well, as most of you have learned about me, I am a “mere observer”.

During my observation, I located a screen listing the orders to be prepared as well as the completed orders. I noticed right away that the number of orders being prepared were growing exponentially and the orders being completed were very few. I began wondering, what is going on? As I observed further from my comfortable seating area, I watched as the shift change occurred. The ones who had been working then grabbed their stuff and left while the “skeleton crew” came in. As the few workers who clocked in were trying to catch up on the previous shift’s work-load, the others just stepped out leaving a massive amount of orders waiting. One of the end-of-shift workers, tried to fill up their drink and notified the skeleton crew that one of the beverages needed to be replaced, before promptly leaving.So, the reason for the lack of effectiveness was quite apparent: (1) not enough workers, and(2) the previous shift, although aware of issues that will slow progress, decided to leave it with the already struggling crew of few workers.During this time of observing the few that were working trying to keep up with the mass amount of work that was left to them, my mind was thinking “spiritual applications”. I began thinking of how this is not just a secular issue, rather this is a spiritual issue that happens all the time in the Lord’s church. When you read Ephesians 4:11-16 you will find that each person has a role in the Lord’s church (11,12), each role has an important and significant purpose (12,13) and each role has important and significant results (14-16).

The apostle Paul said to the disciples at Ephesus in Ephesians 4:15-16, “but speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ – from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”

When I was working full-time in the secular field(s) whether law enforcement or EMS you didn’t just go home because “I’ve put my time in” for the day. Many times, I didn’t get paid for service that I did for the community or agency that I worked for. The attitudes that are so prevalent is, “it’s not my job” or “I’ve done my part” or “I don’t care”. If you want to see a breakdown in a business, fast-food restaurant, and yea, even the Lord’s church, then all it takes is one standing on the sidelines saying, “it’s not my job”, or “I’ve done my part”, or “I don’t care”. What would you have done, knowing you have “put your time in”, “you’ve done your part” for the day? Would you have stayed to help lift the burden the others were feeling?

It’s easy for us to become disgruntled customers waiting on our “fast-food” that’s not so “fast” due to an apparent shortage of workers. However, have we ever thought about how much we are doing for the Lord’s church? Have we ever thought that if every member of the Lord’s church was like us, how much work for the Lord would be accomplished? When I see something that is lacking, do I ignore it, tell someone else to do it, or do I get involved? Jesus said in Matthew 9:37-38, “the harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore,pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” The Lord challenged His disciples in Matthew 9 just as we are challenged today. Each member of the Lord’s body must be working together to be effective. The strain will be quite evident as the body will not be built up as the Lord so desires. The lack of effort will show in what is produced or not produced.

Due to the apathy of the previous shift and the overburdened skeleton crew during my recent fast-food experience, when I arrived home with the chicken nugget meal I had promised to my son, I opened up the nugget box only to find a HUGE BLOB of GOO where something crispy should have been. The strain was evident in what was produced.

Is the apathy and lack of effort of many becoming a burden to the few laborers in the Lord’s church today? Are we producing an ineffective blob of goo instead of working together in unity to build up and edify the Lord’s church, not only for our generation, but for generations to come?

Something to think about. Have a great week! – DJ 🙂

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DJ Dickerson

Evangelist | La Porte Church of Christ

1 Comment

  1. Amen. We are worried about the state of the country when we need to be worried about the state of God’s church. Everyone needs to contribute, and those working in the field need to know they are appreciated for what they do. In our book, you and Kensi are greatly appreciated for all you do. And I’m sure we don’t even know the half of it. Thank you, D.j.

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