It was the most elaborate fundraiser yet. We had borrowed 30 pieces of corral fencing and had set them up in a huge rectangle behind the church building. Then we brought in the cow. Over the past month we had been "selling" plots of ground inside the fenced area and now we were just waiting for the cow to do its business so we could complete our game of "Cow Pie Bingo". I still remember who won the 2 day, 1 night retreat to Branson. I believe that fundraiser netted us around $1500. Good times...good times. I became a part-time youth pastor when I was just 20 years old. I was working towards my college degree and had very little experience in the field. I quickly learned that being a youth pastor was so much more that just teaching the Bible to a group of students. It was so much more. It was not just teaching the Bible, it was building a team of volunteers. It was not just teaching the Bible, it was coordinating fun events that the students enjoyed coming to. It was not just teaching the Bible, it was fundraising for mission trips, camps, and conventions. It was not just teaching the Bible, it was attending meetings, asking permission for what you are going to do and being answerable for the results of all those things you had to ask permission for and somethings you forgot to ask permission for. In the beginning of Acts 6, the Apostles establish some ground rules for themselves and really for the Church. Take a look:
But as the believers rapidly multiplied, there were rumblings of discontent. The Greek-speaking believers complained about the Hebrew-speaking believers, saying that their widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food.
2 So the Twelve called a meeting of all the believers. They said, “We apostles should spend our time teaching the word of God, not running a food program.3 And so, brothers, select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will give them this responsibility. 4 Then we apostles can spend our time in prayer and teaching the word.”
5 Everyone liked this idea, and they chose the following: Stephen (a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit), Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas of Antioch (an earlier convert to the Jewish faith). 6 These seven were presented to the apostles, who prayed for them as they laid their hands on them.
7 So God’s message continued to spread. The number of believers greatly increased in Jerusalem, and many of the Jewish priests were converted, too.
The Apostles wisely decided that they were not going to be able to do everything on their own. They would have to delegate responsibility. This is still a hard lesson for me to learn after almost 18 years into ministry now. I want to do it all but I can't. I want to make sure everything at The Table is perfect, but I can't. Thankfully, God has blessed us with an amazing staff and top notch volunteers! By the way, there are some incredible descriptive words here that we should all strive to live out if we are going to be in leadership at a church: "well respected", "full of Spirit", "full of wisdom".
Don't do it all, but do something!
With sincere love for each of you,