While visiting Nashville this past weekend, I had my first official interview with a church. I do intend to work part time in a church, and this church of 40 members is looking for a pastor. I met two men for breakfast at the City Café in downtown Murfreesboro, right off the square. The place was bustling with patrons hungry for good food and fellowship, a restaurant older than my grandmother and with lots of local color.
We placed our orders and then began the process of getting to know each other. I came to find out that that restaurant was where Hank Williams Jr. recorded his "Are You Ready for Some Football?" video for Monday Night Football, as well as where other famous country artists often gathered. As we settled into our discussion and the waitress brought me my "redneck omelet," I asked the two men why they joined the church. One of their answers caught my attention. He said, "Of all the churches I visited, this one needed me the most."
It was such a simple yet provocative response. He didn't say, "I joined this church because of the preaching or the music or the programming or the potlucks," or any other often cited reason. He didn't say, "I joined this church because it met my family's needs." He said very simply, "This church needed me the most." Very profound answer.
While of course we want church to be inspiring, challenging, and a fun, meaningful place that does meet the spiritual needs of our families, a deeper, more selfless criterion is: Where in the church am I needed? Where can my gifts be used for the greater good? Consider this day where God is calling you to a place of need within the church. And then go for it!
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, in order that you may proclaim the might acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. -1 Peter 2:9,10
Prayer for Today
O God, help us each to find our place in your church, a place where we are needed, a place where we can live out our calling as your people. Amen.