Why I Love WMU Sunday
I always enjoy WMU Sunday. And Baptist Men’s Day. And Youth Sunday. Don’t you? But I have a question. Why couldn’t every Sunday be member-participation Sunday?
This may seem like a radical step to you, but I believe it is thoroughly biblical. It is a mark of a church’s failure, not success, when a few hired professionals do all the work of the church. Shame on us for even implying that the only ones who can do anything in the church are those who have been to Bible College or seminary. God’s will is for every believer to do his or her part.
So why not take the good idea behind WMU Sunday and extend it throughout the year? Ditto for Baptist Men’s Day. And don’t leave the youth out. Let’s treat them like the young adults they are and turn them loose to serve.
You say, “I’d get in trouble if I allowed lay people to participate in the service every Sunday.” Friend, doing things Jesus’ way must always take priority. Besides, have you tried it? Here’s how you might begin. For starters, stop criticizing inactive people. Instead, prepare them for the work. If you’re a pastor, that’s your job. The task of a spiritual leader is to equip members to serve (Eph. 4:11-12). Then release them into service. Let them handle everything in the service while you sit with your family in the pews – just like you do on WMU Sunday. Incorporate a time of sharing into your service. Allow those with a “word” to bring it. And when you do stand up to teach (not “preach” – see Eph. 4:11 and 1 Tim. 3:2), do so not from the stage (an invention of the secular theater) but on the people’s level lest you give the impression you are 6 feet above contradiction. A question and answer period afterwards can be beneficial both to you and your congregation.
There is nothing very original in these ideas. Mutual participation was a hallmark of the early church (1 Cor. 14). It characterizes our Women’s and Men’s and Youth Sundays. And rightly so. Nothing is more foreign to the New Testament pattern of church meetings than to have the leaders do all the work. We need the strength, the encouragement, the teaching, the stimuli of every-member ministry.
To paraphrase the words of Jesus, “It is more blessed to serve than to be served.” Amen?
February 5, 2007
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com.