Think back over your own journey of faith. Do you remember when you first met Jesus? I’ve been a believer since I was a little girl, however, the richness of my understanding of God’s love and mercy has only bloomed in recent years. There have been many people along the way to help shepherd me and open my eyes to the truth. It takes a village.
But that village can be divided. As a pastor’s wife, I’ve seen first hand how divisions in the church can break up friendships and even families. What did you think about Paul’s counsel to Titus here? “If people are causing divisions among you, give a first and second warning. After that, have nothing more to do with them.” I recall several situations we encountered with people who seemed to thrive on being divisive. I must admit it was a lot easier when I didn’t have to associate with them regularly.
I remember hearing the phrase, “it takes a village” about a decade ago when I was working for a busy attorney. Her adorable son was involved in EVERYTHING it seemed. There was often a scramble to find a ride or someone to get him from A to Z. As a busy parent, we often rely on others for help in carpooling, running errands, etc.
As a church leader, we rely on others in the “village” to do the tasks of the church. It’s a beautiful thing how God has gifted each one of us with special abilities or “gifts” designed to be used to benefit the kingdom of God. When we come together in our churches and use our God given gifts, miracles can happen. Paul knew this and assured Titus he was sending some people to help.
While it’s not clear what kind of support they would give, that doesn’t matter. The idea I took from this was that we are all in community. We can each contribute in some mighty way. It’s a relief to know I don’t need to be proficient at everything and handle every single thing. It takes a village.
I know, as a pastor, David was used to having a staff of people supporting him. When we arrived in our last congregation, he soon realized he was the staff. The only other paid staff member was the organist. Thankfully, David didn’t have to do that, too! It takes a village. With the help of the Holy Spirit, David soon raised up volunteer leaders to help in other areas of ministry. It’s a beautiful thing when God’s people rally together for a common goal.
Paul’s words of wisdom ring out centuries later and speak to us as church leaders. “Our people must learn to do good by meeting the urgent needs of others; then they will not be unproductive.” The church is more than a building and a worship service on Sunday. It is people who are meeting the urgent needs of others. How are you plugging in to your church community to be part of the village? What are the urgent needs you see around you?
Let’s pray … Lord, there are so many needs around me. Help me to see them. Thank you for gifting me as you have. May I never let my hands be idle when there is so much work to be done for the kingdom. Fill me with the wisdom I need for the tasks of the day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.