Being a Servant | Mark’s Remarks

The Bible says plenty about being a servant of God. We are called to be servants, to give of ourselves and our talents. We are called to do God’s work. I do not believe anyone can work their way into Heaven, but I know plenty of people who do believe that.  There are several people who think it’s enough to do good things, take mission trips, and just be a good person.  

But that’s a story for another time.

Have you heard of the 80-20 rule? It’s an unwritten rule in the church where 80 percent of the work is done by 20 percent of the people. It points to sin.  The sin of disobedience. Many churches suffer from it.

When churches decide to have programs and put on events, it’s for the good of the congregation and the community. However, in the end, it should be to glorify God. I think some churches can lose sight of that, though. There is often a fear that if we don’t do enough programs and have enough events, the church won’t grow.  If we aren’t constantly pulling people in, we won’t reach people.

Even though we are supposed to rely on God and look to Him to provide insight to us, we still sometimes are fearful. I wonder what God thinks of that.

There have been times people in the church have vocalized how worn out they are. At this time of the year there are holiday events and things to do — Thanksgiving projects followed by Christmas projects and New Year’s. Kids programs, adult programs, and on an on it goes.  

And again, a handful of  people are doing the work. Are folks complaining? No. Are we serving with a glad heart? As much as we can. But we have to acknowledge we are indeed tired. We have to admit we all work jobs during the day and have to juggle church meetings and work with home life and taking care of our own families.

Some folks keep going and going, driven not only by the desire to serve but also by the need to please others. What will people in the church think if I don’t work harder and more?  Will they think less of me?

I’ve heard people who are in charge of large projects talk about losing sleep at night, and I’ve heard them vocalize how hard it is to get people to help.  There are people who simply won’t step up and help out, no matter how nice or good they are. People often need to be asked face to face or called on the telephone. There simply aren’t enough people to make personal connections. 

Again, large projects are carried out by a handful of people.

It’s very easy to get caught up in negativity and squabbles when there is work to be done.  People get tired and crabby. We lose sight again of what our purpose is. Often we wonder if it’s all worth it and we feel so overwhelmed that we can’t stay focused.

Are servants in the church truly doing what they are supposed to do? Does God want them to be at meetings every night and have a full calendar of constant church work; a full calendar which leaves little time for family and job? What can be done? Can leaders get a clearer vision, asking God for guidance? Can committees and church councils step up and be more vocal and say enough is enough?

I’m not sure what to do about people who simply do nothing.  Yes, it’s easy to be negative and forget why we are doing it. It’s easy to stop relying on God and it’s easy to forget to turn to Him when we are just plain tired.

I heard a church leader say the other day that we need to do just a few things in the church.  Yes, we need to do a few things, and we need to do them well.  I do not believe that we need to be worn out all the time, though. 

Is this really what God wants?

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Mark Tullis

Mark is a 25-year veteran teacher teaching in Columbia. Originally from Fairfield, Mark is married with four children. He enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with his family, and has been involved in various aspects of professional and community theater for many years and enjoys appearing in local productions. Mark has also written a "slice of life" style column for the Republic-Times since 2007.
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