A Hamburger, fries, and a coke from a fast-food restaurant. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I spent much of my high school and college years behind a fast food counter, flipping burgers, getting blamed for the grill guy’s mistake, or being the grill guy whose mistake caused someone else to take the heat. At the end of the day, I’d come home smelling like a sweaty french fry, but I learned to strive for excellence, even in a business equated with mediocrity.
But when you walk into a fast food restaurant, which side of the counter you plan to occupy makes all the difference in your attitude. If you stand in front of the counter and see dirty tables or find a mistake in your order, you should expect someone to resolve it. Someone else. But if you enter the building and stand behind the counter, when something’s not right, you should feel embarrassed and eager to resolve the situation. When people hear where you work, you want them to smile and be impressed, not think less of you, so you do what you can to strengthen the hand that feeds you.
So when you consider your church membership, which side of the counter do you stand on? When something’s not right, do you expect someone else to resolve the problem, or do you immediately start thinking about how you might? Too often, church rosters fill with spiritual customers shopping for religious goods and services. When something’s not right, they ask questions like, “Why doesn’t someone do something about this?” instead of, “Is there anything I can do to help?” In simplest terms, when you see litter, do you stop to pick it up, or do you expect someone else to? What about the other work that’s not getting done the way it could or should? Are you doing what you can? Often, it’s fallen short because the person responsible has so many tasks to handle. Is there something else you could take onto your shoulders to ease that burden? When you call it “my church,” do you mean it? Do your words and actions support the work and ease the burden, or do you complain that they got your order wrong?
Jesus told those who followed Him, “The harvest is large, but the workers are few. So ask the Lord who gives this harvest to send workers to harvest his crops. Go! I’m sending you out like lambs among wolves.” (Luke 10:2, 3, GWV) Do you see the response? “Pray for workers to harvest [people]. Hey, your prayer is answered! You are the answer to your own prayer!” Living in the kingdom of God means celebrating the resurrection every day by following our Risen Lord as He serves others through us.
Then take your eyes off the church property to the world. As you look at the needs of the community and beyond, how many problems do you respond to with, “Someone should do something about that!” where you are that someone? God has blessed us with the honor of serving in His kingdom in so many ways and has given time, money, and skills needed to serve. What can we do to bring glory to God among us?