Last week in worship we had "ministry Sunday" when we lifted up the various ways in which people have done ministry on Sunday mornings in the past year.
It is always interesting as we recognize our musicians, Sunday School teachers, those who have done our children's sermons, our commissioned ministers. By the time we are done - probably half to two thirds of the worshiping congregation has been recognized. All of this points to the fact that we don't come to worship to go to a show that is put on by the minister and staff - but we are TOGETHER worshipping God.
What I have learned over the years to do less and to allow and encourage the members of the church to do more. It has taken me a while to let go and trust that I don't have to do everything. And so, I do a children's sermon every other month, a pastoral prayer once a month and an invitation to communion occasionally now.
In addition to that I no longer put together the power point and run it throughout the service. Instead, those tasks are done by others.
This summer when I went on Sabbatical I attended one church where the minister did everything I used to do - the sermon, the pastoral prayer, the children's sermon, even the worship leader's role. It seemed so strange to me now and it felt like the service itself had less energy.
I write this as I prepare my sermon for Pentecost in which we are going to look at the whole idea of "Spiritual Gifts" which every person has been given. I have a dream that people will take this seriously and try to discern and develop more of their gifts. AND used them in different ways in ministry.
I always describe myself as a "holy spirit" person who believes that the spirit is doing something new all the time. If we allow the spirit to "activate" us - there is no telling what a powerful witness we could be to our community. (and to each other!)
Doing the ministry we were created to do is what gives our life meaning.(and energy!)