Posted by Peggy Utley

There is a difference between church work and the work of the church and it is not just a play on words. Church work involves the maintenance of the organization. Church work includes the planning of the worship service with appropriate music, printing bulletins, serving on committees, taking care of the church building,  remodeling, weekly cleaning and upkeep, mowing the lawn, trimming the shrubbery and paying the bills.

The work of the church on the other hand is preaching the gospel, teaching, witnessing to the lost, going into all the world with the message of Christ’s love. It is ministering to the needy, feeding the hungry, visiting the sick and those in prison and encouraging the discouraged. Jesus clearly describes the work of the church in Matthew 25:35-40.

Columnist Nicholas Kristof of Forest Grove, Oregon tells of an India-born Muslim in Georgia named Malik Waliyani. Malik bought a gas station and convenience store a few months ago and was horrified when it was burglarized and damaged. Hearing of his plight, Chris George, Pastor of the nearby Smoke Rise Baptist Church challenged his Sunday Morning Congregation to “shower our neighbor with love.” In response, more than 200 members of the church drove over to Malik’s gas station to buy gas and make purchases.   The Pastor told Nicholas Kristof, “Our faith inspires us to build bridges, not to label people as us and them, but to recognize that we’re all part of the same family. Our world is a stronger place when we choose to look past labels and embrace others with love.”

What the members of Smoke Rise Baptist Church did for a gas station owner of another country and culture is genuine work of the church. It is a prime example of being the presence of Christ in a world filled with divisiveness, bigotry and hatred.

Church maintenance is important and a vital part of our stewardship but it takes second place to the work of the church. Both are essential but one is far greater than the other.

In His Love,

Charles