From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work (Ephesians 4:16, NIV).
I spent my morning washing the glass doors in the shop I work at. It needed done, and as I was low man on the totem pole, I was asked to do it. Although, whoever thought that the bottom guy on the totem was the least important had it totally backwards; the lowest image on a totem pole is the most important. But I digress…
I was happy to do it. They needed it too. Fingerprints, dirt, smoke (it is a smoke shop after all). It took half an industrial size roll of paper towels and a lot of window cleaner.
As I was cleaning, two thoughts came to my mind: the first was something my friend and mentor Charlie Jones used to say, “You need to be learning to find the fun in anything. If I had to put nuts on bolts on an assembly line the rest of my life, I could have fun! If you can’t have fun where you are, you’re not going to be able to have fun where you aren’t.” The second thing was remembering Thomas a Kempis and how he worshipped God while he was doing dishes.
I was happy to wash the glass. When I was finished washing all the glass faces of the humidors, I approached the manager and said, “I still have half a roll of paper towels and some window cleaner left, what else can I do?” If there was work like that that no one else wanted to do that needed done and there was the time to do it, I was willing to do it.
When you work in a retail shop like I am right now, you are part of a team. There are all sorts of little things that need done to keep a retail shop looking nice and functioning well. If you have people who are amazing sales people, but who are not willing to do anything else, like inventory, sweeping the floors, and (in my case) washing the glass) you are not going to get many people coming in who will buy anything.
The same is true in the church. Everyone sees the pastor because he is the front guy. But there are a lot of people doing things behind the scenes that make ministry, church services, and sermons come together.
When Mandi was pregnant with our third daughter, she had some serious complications that kept her bed bound for sever weeks. Our babysitter stepped up and made her self available to watch my other two girls whenever I needed it during that time. She wouldn’t take my money, she just wanted to help. If I did not have her help, I never would have been able to keep up with my responsibilities. Childcare may not seem like an important gift in in God’s kingdom, compared to preaching, teaching, evangelism, or ministry. But without her and her gift, I could not have done any of those things.
Don’t look down on little things, jobs that no one sees, and that no one thinks about. No one is going to walk into my store and ask who the awesome glass cleaner is. But the store can’t do what it is there for without a good glass cleaner. Your gift may be childcare, cleaning, organizing, technical, or just being helpful. Those are essential gifts. The truth is, there is no unessential gift. For your church to work right and function well, it needs your gift.