There are so many opportunities in the community we serve and for a small church we are blessed to have some wonderfully committed and engaged members, not that this means all the bases are covered but we do have a high proportion of people doing stuff (and that's a real blessing). and have a few slowly progressing along the path to lay and ordained ministry too (which is a blessing and gift to the church and the wider Church too).
There's enough emails to keep me busy until Christmas and so many more requests and opportunities for us as a church to engage with that I can see there being even more plates to be added before long - guess we need to pray in more workers :-)
I've been amazed at the number of people I have engaged with over the past few weeks who have told me that they couldn't find a role in their local place of worship and have found the common element was that they were looking to be people with influence rather than people who influenced by doing. Not only that but they knew what they didn't like and what they didn't want but were less sure about what they did and all, almost to a person, was upset because they 'weren't listened to' or were basically unable to have their own way.
Interestingly it was the pastor or dogcollar that came in for the real stick because they, 'Just weren't listening to them!'
I rarely find a leader who is unwilling to listen, they just tire of listening to the same old stuff and the demands that are more often than not unaccompanied by offers of real help and engagement.
As we get nearer to the September rush into Christmas can I encourage all of us to stop, pray, read (the Bible), think and discern where and what God is calling us to do - what parts we are called to play (which might not be the same as desire to be) and having done so, let us get off our bottoms and get stuck in to the work of blessing one another, building each other up and getting the work before us done?
A sad, yet equally funny, quote regarding someone who was a 'good giver' (which some consider to be enough these days I'm afraid) who left a church went thus: 'If you lend someone a tenner and never see them again it was probably worth it!'
This is true also of those who think that their presence is justified on the basis of what they give and that should be a factor in how they are regarded by the rest of the church (and especially the leader), but this isn't the case - it's not what you give, but how you give it.
It's not what you give that counts - it's how you serve!
How's your serve today?