Pyramids & Ministry

I have some religious neighbours – they wash their cars every week. One does it Sunday mornings, another twice a week Saturdays and Wednesdays.

When it comes to car cleaning, I am rather agnostic and my car is only washed when it becomes embarrassingly necessary. Another key difference is that I usually do not wash it myself.

There are a couple of places near my home where you can pay a fiver and have your car hand washed while you wait. It struck me that there are lots of areas where we have the choice to do it ourselves or pay someone else to do it for us.

Clearly there are some things where it is wiser or a necessity to pay someone else to do for us. – Cutting my own hair would not be a good idea!

However when it comes to church can we do the same?

A recent talk at my church discussed 2 models for church structure.

The first model is a pyramid like that found in business, where you have the CEO at the top and those at the bottom have to do as they are told. There are churches which follow this model, with a minister or pastor at the top, a hierarchy in between and at the bottom – the members or congregation who are expected to be in submission and pay for the minster.

I recall that Jesus turned the world model for leadership on its head – Matt 20:18-28.

Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many”.

So the second model discussed in the talk was one where the pyramid is upside down. 
It is one where the leadership structure exists to support the members as they carry out the ministry of the church.

The point of this is simple. Our church giving is not about paying someone else to do what we should be doing. We each should have a purpose and a part in the ministry of the church.

Even if you happen to be in a church where they have pyramid the wrong way up, can I suggest that you should seek to serve in some way – you do not have to have an official title / position to serve.

Finally, as we are the over 50’s and allegedly have a bit more experience, perhaps this may take the form of enabling / supporting others.