Today’s Reading: Exodus 29-31
Today’s Reflection: Exodus 31:1-5
1) The LORD said to Moses, 2) “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 3) and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, 4) to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, 5) in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft.
It was evident that Moses had been chosen by God and anointed by His spirit to lead Israel out of bondage and to the Promised Land. But as God instructs Moses on the building of a sanctuary and the various ministries to be carried out there, it becomes increasingly clear that everyone involved in God’s work is chosen by Him and similarly gifted by His spirit.
We have a tendency to see only the most high profile roles in church and ministry as having God’s anointing—preaching, teaching, singing—but God’s word says otherwise. And it makes sense, because each role, no matter how big or small it may appear, plays a part in the experience of helping people draw close to God. From the parking attendant who helps someone locate a spot, to the greeter who makes someone feel welcome before they’ve even entered the sanctuary, to the catering staff preparing the food that tides hungry stomachs after the service and helps to create a warm environment for fellowship, to the cleaning staff who prepares the sanctuary for it’s next use—each of these roles is critical to the relationship building work of ministry, to creating a place for us to meet God and each other.
If this is so, three critical truths follow from it:
1) If God chooses people for each role and gifts them with His spirit, no role is more important than any other role. The hierarchies of ministerial importance man creates are just that—our creation. They have little significance in God’s eyes.
2) We should encourage people to seek God’s calling on their lives, rather than what appear to be the ‘best’ roles in ministry. The hierarchical approach to roles in ministry tends to lead to people seeking the ‘important roles’ whether they are a fit for them or not. This leaves the ‘un-important’ roles to be filled with whoever is willing, with no respect to their gifting, temperament or abilities. This results in dissatisfied people in God’s service, and ultimately to unfruitful ministry.
3) We should appreciate variety in ministry. Most churches have a fairly standard set of key ministries—preaching, teaching and music. But what about other creative arts like drama and dance? There are people who won’t listen to a sermon, but will go to a play. What about health and fitness? There are those bored by church, but interested in athletics and healthy living. There are many other ways to serve God and reach people for Him than the routes the traditional church typically uses. A church that embraces all of God’s gifting and anointing as equal will have a diverse ministry that will appeal to a broad range of people.
1 Corinthians 12:4-7 – 4) Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5) and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6) and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7) To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.