Core Value 7:Support ministries are led by people with serving gifts. These people are regularly honored and affirmed.
Have you ever broken a toe and hobbled around for a week or two as the bone started to heal? Have you ever slept wrong and spent the day unable to turn your head without wincing because of your stiff neck? Have you ever had the kind of sore throat that just about sent you through the roof every time you swallowed? Have you ever come down with a case of Montezuma’s Revenge while traveling and had to skip an outing so you could stay close to a bathroom?
A toe. Your neck. Your swallowing muscles. Your intestinal tract. Parts of your body you may not appreciate or even notice until something goes wrong with them. But when that something goes wrong—oh boy!—you experience an epiphany of sorts. “Oh!” you think. “That’s what that part of me does. If I didn’t have that part of my body, I wouldn’t be able to walk. Or turn. Or swallow. Or get out. At very least, I wouldn’t be able to do those things well. I’d be condemned to limp and wince through life, hobbling my way as quickly as I could to the nearest bathroom.”
The community of believers—the church—is often referred to as “the body of Christ.” In 1 Corinthians12, the apostle Paul takes that metaphor and runs with it in a rather humorous fashion:
Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact, God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it so that there should be no division in the body but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. (1 Corinthians 12:14-27, NIV)
Get it? There are certain parts of the body of Christ—certain people in the church—whose contribution is at risk of not being noticed, let alone appreciated. Not because their ministry is unimportant. Far from it! Rather, because their ministry tends to happen behind the scenes. These are the people with gifts of serving and helps. They work in the support ministries—in ways you might not realize until something goes wrong.
Just imagine what would happen if you showed up at church and the chairs in the auditorium were all askew. Or the words to the songs didn’t show up on the screen when needed. Or there weren’t any programs to hand out because they never got folded. Or the bathrooms were devoid of paper products. Or—horrors!—there was no one in the kitchen to make the donuts and coffee available between services!
Can you imagine the pandelerium? And the mass epiphany that would occur? “Oh,” everyone would think. “That’s what the facilities people do. And the office volunteers. And the tech people. And the food servicepeople. If the church didn’t have them, we wouldn’t be able to sit. Or know what’s going on at the church. Or sing. Or welcome our guests. Or at very least, we wouldn’t be able to do those things as well.”
Try to discipline yourself over the next weeks to notice and appreciate the massive behind-the-scenes work that happens to make your weekend experience at CVC a good one. Then, track down some of the people who do that work. Honor and thank them for what they do.
And, hey, if you’re one of those people, thank you. We couldn’t do what we do without you.