You see them driving around most urban areas and even venturing out in small town USA. Their destinations are automotive garages and any other place of business that uses tools. Most of the vehicles are large vans or panel trucks and carry such logos as “Snap-On Tools,” or “Matco.”
What if it were the job of these drivers to rush from place to place tightening, untightening and doing all the actual mechanical repairing of the vehicles? Imagine the mechanics in these shops calling on the tool man every time they needed a bolt tightened or a screw adjusted, sitting around waiting for them to arrive and do the work. It is a comical scene based on the ridiculous; hundreds of mechanics waiting for the help of few exhausted and distraught tool men.
The truth of the matter is, these tool men in their vans only provide the tools. It is the mechanics who do the work.
Sometimes we in the local church can actually get caught up in a similar comedy of errors. A church can look to their minister as the one whom they hire to do their ministry for them. A minister can also be at fault for allowing himself to be like the misguided tool man trying to do it all himself.
The truth of the matter is, in God’s economy of work in the local church it is the individual people in the congregation who are called by God to do the bulk of the ministry. The minister’s job is to equip them for their ministry.
The preacher is a teacher, though he has to solicit his own class. He heals without pills or knife. He is a lawyer, a social worker, an editor, a philosopher, a salesman, a handy decorative piece for public functions, an entertainer, a chairman of the building fund and a first-class janitor.
People come to him and he goes to the people. He rejoices when they rejoice and weeps when they weep. He visits the sick, marries the young, buries the dead, prepares and delivers speeches to every organization under the sun, and tries to stay sweet when he is abused for not calling on certain people. He helps plan the program of the church and meets with every group he can, which may mean that some nights he must attend two and three meetings.
When he lies down at night, he is burdened and prays for certain “sheep,” their weaknesses, their problems, and their absence from the service. And, oh yes, in his spare time, he prepares and delivers several sermons, Bible lessons, radio programs, class messages, etc. And when Monday comes and some chap roars, “What an easy job you preachers have!” he tries to smile and keep sweet.
Have you ever heard the above question asked? Or the remark made thoughtlessly, “What an easy task the minister has! He speaks about 25 minutes twice on Sunday and once on Wednesday with the rest of the week all his own!”
However, with all these aggravations, many would rather be divinely called ministers of the gospel than be anything else.