If every Christian has received spiritual gifts to be utilized for the spiritual growth and development of the Body of Christ, why do we still have an 80/20 problem? You know 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people. That leaves the last 80% of the people to complete the remaining 20% of the ministry, if it gets done at all. Too few are attempting to accomplish too much, while too many contribute too little.
The crisis in the church is that we have cultivated far too many “pew potatoes” … people who see their spiritual obligation as attending church on Sunday morning and throwing a few dollars in the offering plate. Pew Potatoes turn the church into a consumer enterprise … something that is about members manipulating other members to give them what they want.
I remember as a child having a Mr. Potato Head. Over time most of the parts somehow were misplaced. All that remained were the right arm and a left ear. Mr. Potato Head was of no use. In the trash he went.
Imagine the Body of Christ with only a single arm and an ear. Since few of the parts of the Body of Christ are functioning properly, the Body suffers. Those who need some one to speak God’s truth into their lives, only hear the whisper of the wind. Those need a nose to sniff out the Truth, end up falling for the Lie. Those who need a listening ear, find that they are only half heard. Those needing hands to lift them up and dust them off are left lying in the dirt. Those who need feet shod with the readiness to share the gospel will never get a chance to respond to God’s grace.
It is the retelling of one of Jesus’ toughest stories about the separation of the sheep and the goats. Jesus shares with his disciples that judgment will fall on those who neglect their ministry by failing to feed him, give him a drink, clothe him, comfort him, house him, heal him, or visit him because they failed to do it for his Body.
The point here is very simple … if you are not engaged in ministry, you are failing to live the life of a disciple. God finds no contentment in your entering the doorway of worship, when you refuse to walk the pathway of service. God is not glorified by those who pronounce his praise, but fail to exhibit his love.
Stop wasting your unused gifts, talents, knowledge, experience and abilities. Use them for the sake of the Kingdom. Do not let them waste away so that you hear those dreaded words, “Depart from me, you who are cursed into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” For I was hungry and you didn’t give me a sandwich; I was thirsty and you didn’t offer a drink; I was a stranger and you didn’t get to know me; I was poorly dressed and you mocked my taste in clothes; I was locked away and you threw away the key.
And we will say, “Lord, when did we not care for you? When did we treat you so badly?”
And the Lord of the universe will respond, “Every time that someone in the Body had need of the ministry that I divinely shaped you to fulfill was placed in your path, but you turned away.”
Yet when Mr. Potato Head is put together, and all the parts are in place, we hear the hoped for word of welcome, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world” because you displayed how my Body is to function as every part does its work.