Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Kingdom Collaboration

Hmm. Not really sure where this came from, it kind of just sprung up from my heart...

Last week an older lady came up to me after service and asked, "How did you ever learn to do all that?" She was referring to the sound and tech. She wasn't looking for a long explanation; it was probably only a passing comment without much thought. I struggled for words, settling for a answer about how 'I learned the basics a long time ago, and a lot of people have taught me a lot of things.' How was I to express that I had been preparing for this for what seemed the majority of my life- since fifth grade, and now a past year of rather intensive training. I can't tell you where I picked up this thought or that particular skill...it's a collaboration of my years of training and the people who mentored me.

I think this is similar to how Christian growth is supposed to be. Paul wrote that, "I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, and God made it grow." I can't begin to describe the people who have had an impact on my spiritual life. Some stand out taller than others. Some have impacted me without my cognizant recognition at the time. Certain phrases have deeper meaning to my heart than others. Some reveal a story that quickly springs to mind with the smallest reminder. Other things I have come to know and belief without attributing them to a specific time or place or season of life.

I think the concept behind these things gives insight to the phrase, "You have come into the Kingdom for such a time as this." Culture, relationships, and experiences gave Queen Esther an opportunity unique to herself. No one else had the position to say and initiate the things that must be done. Each of us has special skills, giftings, and most importantly relationships that impact the body of Christ. It is extremely short-sighted to limit this impact to material things - like my knowledge of tech serving the Church through sound, or an accountant helping balance a ministry's budget. Certainly those things have their place, but each one of us is equipped with something much more important: our story and our relationships. Bill will know people that would never interact with Sally's cirlce of friends, and Tom will have business connections that neither Bill nor Sally could ever hope to have. Similarly, my background, the people who influenced me, and that impact on my life- my story- can minister to people you might never meet. But your story will impact where my story fell on deaf ears.

The body has different purposes. Each local church reaches different types of people. I will minister in a different way than the person sitting next to me in service. For a time in my life, I was fascinated by musical worship. I thought one of the coolest ways to connect with God was through music. Yet music is not where my talents lie. You can be grateful that I will never strum a guitar and sing to lead a congregation. But I will serve where God has called me and given me ability to serve. I can influence people to worship -not through music- but as I serve my local church, as I run the soundboard, as I interact with God's people on a daily basis, as I allow God to take complete control, letting Him move through me.

We have a job to do. The Great Commission is our charge, even as it belonged to 11 uncertain men 2000 years ago. We have a body to serve. We have a story to tell. The Kingdom is in need of our services at such a time as this.

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