Summary: Too busy working in the church to be effective in your work for God.
EFFECTIVE OR JUST BUSY
A healthy walk with God is not one that just feeds or meets the needs of others. It also must be a walk or a relationship in which the believer seeks to be regularly fed himself through personal, private study, meditation and prayer. Without these things, we as believers run the very real risk of letting our works for the church, instead of our relationship with Christ, define who we are. So today, I want to talk about being effective in our work for Christ vs. just being busy.
As I said, if a believer doesn’t regularly seek to be fed through personal, private study of the word, meditation on the word, prayer and deep fellowship with God… he or she runs the risk of letting the works that they do for the church, instead of their relationship with Christ, define who they are. What am I talking about? We all know Christians who seem to identify more with the church they attend, their pastor and the activities they’re involved in there than they do with Jesus Christ, the precious gift of salvation that Christ has provided and his instruction to ‘go forth and spread the gospel’. They’re busy as bees working in the church. They can be counted on to be present at every single church meeting. They can be counted on to be present every time there is a church cleanup day, at every service, at every men or women’s fellowship, every rehearsal, every usher board meeting… they’re busy!
At this point, you’re probably thinking, “well brother what’s wrong with all that? Praise God, the church needs more faithful workers”. I’m in total agreement with you; the church does need faithful folks. But, there comes a time when the lives and ministries of believers, who get caught up in being excessively busy, become negatively affected and, things begin to go wrong in their lives. Well, what do I mean when I say “go wrong”? Just how can one know when they’re too busy?
Here are some signs. (By the way, you don’t have to agree with this but the truth is the truth whether it be accepted or not). Some signs of being too busy.
Folks are busy running back and forth to church activities and at the same time they’ve got the worst behaved children at church.
Folks are busy running back and forth to church activities and their marriages are falling apart. (They don’t have time to win their unsaved husband or wife to Christ because they’ve go to show up for something that’s going on at church almost every night of the week).
Folks are busy running back and forth to church activities and their children are flunking out of school.
These are just a few strong signs that we’re too busy. Then the strongest sign is that no one wants to hear any spiritual advice from these folks because they don’t see what they’re preaching being practiced in their lives. We should never forget that living what we preach or profess is very important to the effectiveness of our personal ministries. A person might be outstanding in their teaching and preaching styles or methods and, shout from the pulpit to the back door of the church but, if they’re not living anything, then they’re not as effective in ministry as they could be. Brothers and sisters, it’s very hard to hide in today’s society. Believe me, the world is watching what Christians do and listening to what we say. They’re inspecting our spiritual fruit. So, it’s critical to spend time, frequently, with God so that he can feed us and, thereby, we can be encouraged and grow or mature in him.
Now that we’ve established the need to spend time with the Father, let’s say more about spending time with Him and learning from him and practicing what He teaches us.
Unfortunately, many believe that once they’re saved and familiarize themselves, somewhat, with the Bible that they’re spiritual development is complete. Others believe that because they’ve answered the call to full time ministry… and now they’re ‘rev.’ or ‘pastor’ so and so, that this is enough to make them effective. Not so. We must understand that ministry is alive and, like anything else that’s alive, is ever changing and growing. Now, the message is the same but, the method and timing of effectively delivering it continually changes. So in order to stay on top of this, a Christian needs to stay close (spend time regularly alone with God) where they can effectively hear God’s voice and then be willing to follow His instructions.
Christians who allow their business to negatively impact their spiritual growth and effectiveness aren’t new however. They existed in biblical times also. God had a word for them though. Let’s look at the story of Mary and Martha. This is a story that perfectly illustrates the concept of being busy vs. effective.