Doug Creamer: What did you bring?

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 1, 2017

            In a few weeks my family will get together at my brother’s house for an annual Easter gathering. There will be a big lunch, an Easter egg hunt, and plenty of games. There is so much good food at any family gathering. As we walk the line to fill our plates the question will come up, “What did you bring?” In the end, it doesn’t matter because there is always plenty of food.
            The same thing happens at my church when we have a potluck after the service. The tables are loaded down with delicious food. I hear people ask one another, “What did you bring?” Then you will hear people say how good things are. I always bring a thaw-and-serve pie to potlucks and I feel a little bad about it, but when I check at the end my pie is always gone. There is one lady at our church who sometimes brings a banana pudding that is delicious.              It doesn’t matter if it is a church or family gathering, it’s nice when everyone brings something so one person isn’t burdened with making something for everyone. There is still plenty of work to set things up and to clean up afterwards, but if everyone chips in, no one has to be stuck doing all the work. Many hands make light work.
            The question that has been on my mind lately is why don’t we look at church the same way? We are all great at bringing something for the potluck, why don’t we do the same thing for the church? All churches need workers.
            So often we attend church and expect the pastor to do everything. The way the Bible describes a church it never puts all the burden on the pastor. Each member is supposed to bring something when you gather. We all have to do our part to make the church work smoothly. If we attend church like the movie theater expecting to be entertained for an hour, then we have missed how God planned for it to work.
            When you think about it, we all know it takes more than the pastor to make the church work. I have had the high privilege of knowing two men who knew their calling was to be a greeter at church. They made everyone feel welcome. That’s the first impression many have of your church; it’s important to find good men and women who can welcome the family and guests to the church home.
            Most churches have a Sunday school program. Each church needs teachers to get good lessons together. It’s really important to remember the children. We have to raise up the next generation of believers, teaching them the ways of the Lord and to love their Heavenly Father.
            Most churches rotate the usher responsibilities from week to week. Churches need elders and deacons to make important decisions on how things will work in your church family. Who has the job of setting up and cleaning up on communion Sunday? We expect it to be there, but someone has to step up and do the job.
            Then there are all those behind the scenes things that must be done for a church to work smoothly. There is the counting of the tithes and offerings, the bookkeeping, and all the financial record keeping. There is the maintenance and cleaning of the facility. Who will mow the grass and maintain the landscaping? What about all the home, hospital, and nursing home visits that need to be done, who will do that?
            All that I have mentioned so far is related to caring for and maintaining our church families, but what about all the outreach activities, who will do them? We are called to reach out to the lost, to be a light in the darkness. God needs people who are willing to go to ungodly places to bring His light and hope. Missionaries and community outreach is how we show the world God’s love. Someone needs to help touch the world with God’s love.
            I want to encourage you to think about what you bring to the church. God does not call us to sit on the sidelines. There is something we can all do at church. God made you and gave you unique gifts that He needs to make the church work smoothly. Don’t be afraid, jump in. God will use your willing heart to be a blessing. I don’t want to ever go to church empty handed, I want to go and serve the King. So, what can you bring to your church?  
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