“All Hands on Deck”
In Romans 12:4-5, the Apostle Paul writes to the church (the body of Christ), “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.” And then in 1 Cor. 12, Paul writes about the gifts of the Spirit and how it takes all the members of the body using their various gifts to make the church healthy and complete.
During the last two and a half years, many things have transpired that have had a fragmenting influence on the church. Many are struggling to get their members back to in-person attendance at services and other church related activities. We blame it on COVID, and to a degree it has contributed a lot to the problem, but I think more is involved. Many church members are still using the fear of COVID infection as a reason not to attend in person. Now I’m not advocating foolhardiness nor am I advocating not taking proper precautions by those who may be at risk, but there is just no substitute for in-person worship experiences. Many others have said something to the effect that they are enjoying not having to go out for church services, but can just watch at home on live-stream. They have let this isolate them from in-person gathering with their brothers and sisters-in-Christ for worship and fellowship, which I firmly believe was God’s intent for the church from the beginning. Many congregations are struggling financially due to waning attendance and it is hampering the church from accomplishing its mission and the much needed advance of God’s kingdom.
Sadly, the church is also losing the impact and influence it once had in the communities in which they are located. I won’t go so far as to say the church is in total disarray, but I would say that her garments right now are tattered and torn and in need of repair and cleaning. It reminds me of the time of Nehemiah when the walls of Jerusalem were battered and broken and in need of extensive repair.
Nehemiah began by taking stock of the condition of the walls. He then considered what would be needed to restore the walls. Then he called the people together with this admonition, “. . . You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer derision.” 18 And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work.” (Nehemiah 2:17-18 ESV)
But Nehemiah didn’t stop there, he called “All hands on deck!” and set the people to work all around the city rebuilding the walls. People from all walks of life pitched in to restore the walls – everyone doing their part to achieve the goal. They were mocked and their work attacked by their enemies, but they persevered because they knew that the hand of God was upon them and that He would bless their work. (Spoiler Alert: The work that should have taken a tremendous amount of time was completed in just 52 days!)
Many would say that it will probably take a miracle of God to restore the church today. May I remind you that our God is still in the miracle business. All things are possible with God!
Perhaps what God is looking for today is some Nehemiahs (pastors, deacons, church leaders, committed Christians) who will survey the condition of their walls (their local church); consider what needs to be done to restore the walls (their local church); and call, “ALL hands on deck!!!” and then set the people to work.
Will you be a Nehemiah in your church?
Will you also join me in praying for revival and spiritual awakening in our land?
Working Together in His Service,
Roy Pr. 3:5-6