“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’”
Mark 6:31 (NIV UK)
Jerry Matyiko has one of the most unusual jobs in the world: he rescues lighthouses. How does he do it? By moving them! Using his engineering skills, specialised equipment and some good old-fashioned elbow grease, he’s able to save these buildings from destruction. The process is tedious—but it always pays off.
When I read about Jerry’s work, I couldn’t help but think about how we are called to a similar task. I’m talking about supporting and renewing our existing ministries within the church. Often, it’s easy to neglect ministries that have worked well for a long time. We grow so comfortable with how things are done that we can be surprised to learn that maybe everything isn’t working as well as we thought: that maybe the whole “building” is in danger of falling off a cliff. And that’s when the process of revitalisation needs to begin.
Sometimes, this means recognising that a church might need pruning. It could be that the organisation as a whole might function in a healthier way with some correction. Other times, it might mean realising that gathering in one location isn’t advantageous, and realising that maybe God is directing us somewhere else. And sometimes we might just need to rest. It’s easy to burn out when your whole life is lived in the service of others, so it’s essential for us as the body of Christ to support one another and allow ourselves the space to rest and renew our passion for ministry.
No matter how we deal with these issues, what’s most important to remember is that we do so with passion, wisdom and a love for future generations. Because, just as all those great lighthouses which Jerry rescued, we know that there are many of our churches and ministries that have shone their “light” faithfully for years. And with discernment, adjustments and diligence, I know that they can continue to shine, spreading the joy and grace of God’s Kingdom for many more years to come.
Holy Father, care for the church and its individual members involves more than often we think. We know that the church, even with Christ as its head, doesn’t run smoothly and efficiently here on earth because we, the people, are so often the weak link. We ask for your continued blessing on our human leaders, that they will lead this fellowship forward according to your will. This we pray in Jesus’ name.
Study by Joseph Tkach
About the Author:
Joseph Tkach is the President of Grace Communion International (the Denominational name of The Worldwide Church of God UK), and resides in California, USA. You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.