Just doing our duty



A group from the Diocese are using our Ministry Centre tomorrow morning, Saturday 8 October. They have requested tea/coffee to be served at 8.30 am and then during their morning break, about 10.30 am.

Can you serve them?

Peter Bootle, from the Ministry Centre, could do it but I have told him not to  – along with other church members he will be on the wild streets of Ormskirk until the early hours as street pastor.   A remarkable ministry;  only the church could do this.

But we have problems.  Nearly 30 church members will be travelling to Manchester for the Northern Women’s Christian Convention while members of our music group are attending a residential course in Marple.

They’re all away.

I could ask members of our fellowship committee but they are busy preparing for our delayed harvest lunch in the Ministry Centre on Sunday – good to know the Mayor and Mayoress of Ormskirk along with other civic guests will be dining with us.    Other church members are busy looking after the members of the Pearl of Africa choir.  Their concert takes place in the Ministry Centre tomorrow at 7.30 pm.

Moreover I am reluctant to ask the usual suspects.  Most have been heavily involved this week in Cafe Vista – this amazing ministry is steadily growing but needs lots of hard working and dedicated volunteers. I was surprised how many were at the team meeting on Monday.  Others  worked hard for the successful launch on Wednesday for our 35th Alpha course.  A great evening, an hilarious and relevant talk by Phil Watson (not to be confused with our curate Phil Weston).

Nearly 50 turned up.

At our Vision Day in Southport last Saturday I shared 20 key pointers for 2020:  5 key values to affirm, 5 key opportunities to grasp, 5 key challenges to meet along with 5 glimpses into the future.

One of our five key values is for everyone at Christ Church to be involved in some way as a volunteer.  Every member should be doing something in some way for the Lord.  It is our calling;  the Lord requires no less.   “Do you want to be involved?” is not an extra box to be ticked:  it is part of the job description of following Jesus.

Service is in our DNA.

This may mean overseeing a key ministry or opening a new frontier; there again it may mean turning up at the Ministry Centre to make teas and coffees tomorrow.  (Everything will be left out for you).

Whatever, we show our love for the Lord by serving him.  In fact, the first appointment in the early church was Stephen and others being chosen to wait on tables  (Acts 6:3).

But inspiring and resourcing volunteers in every area of ministry, especially for new initiatives, is also one of our five challenges.  We are always short of people, especially for long term commitments (a phrase anathema in today’s culture).  Growing churches always are.  Certainly the growing use of the Ministry Centre is labour intensive.

So we need two more people to deliver CONSIDER along with someone to take responsibility for supplying 10 of these distributors with their deliveries  (CONSIDER uses over 70 people).  We need people to help with our children’s and young people’s ministry (setting up for fortnightly Re:ality is a huge task),  someone to be Christian Aid treasurer,  others to lead intercessions at church,  people to serve as reception in the Ministry Centre for mornings or afternoons, .  . .

The list goes on.

“We need” is actually the wrong phrase.  It should be “the Lord expects.”

I have always been intrigued by Jesus’ parable of the servant’s duty. Not one that ever makes the top ten.  Only found in Luke.

“Suppose one of you had a servant ploughing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’?

“Would he not rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’?

Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do?

“So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”

That’s it.  ‘When you’ve done everything expected of you, be matter-of-fact and say, ‘The work is done. What we were told to do, we did.'”

So any offers for tomorrow?