Wrong hiding places

Acts 5:12-16
A saint told me, “Pastor John, put me where you need me. Just don’t need me in a committee.”

He was a constant presence for his church. There wasn’t a soul he wouldn’t talk to or help. But committees were not his thing. He had no desire to be in “the room where it happens.” Instead, he believed the best ministry happened elsewhere, among the people.

We’ve all heard about the slow movement of the church. It is a familiar scenario that plays out in our committees. Something needs to get done. Let’s talk about it. It’s getting late, so let’s table it until next time. Next time, we spend most of our time catching up. Let’s table it for now.

At the moment, I have a laptop stuck in a startup loop. That is, I power it on and it looks like it’s working. But then it stays where it is. It is a malfunction. Need I say more?

In some ways, committees became a ministry in and of themselves. What might that illustrate about the church? No, committees aren’t evil. They can be a tool for kingdom ministry. But if we hide behind them, they replace ministry. If they’re our way of establishing our own power circles, we’re taking the Lord’s name in vain. What kingdom fruit do you see among your church’s committees?

I promise my intention was not to focus on committees. As I reflected more on Acts 5:12-13, they were my first thought.

A lot has happened in the first five chapters of Acts. The risen Lord has sent out the apostles. They are sharing the message entrusted to them. Signs and wonders accompany the apostles’ teaching. As a result, “great numbers” become a part of the fellowship. What I don’t want to forget is what that saint of God once taught me. The signs and wonders were “done among the people.”

As awesome as I can only imagine that was, there were some less enthused. Acts 5:13 says “none of the rest dared to join” the apostles. Who the rest refers to is a question. Some say other disciples or Jewish religious leaders. In that case, they either didn’t join because they were afraid or opposed what was happening.

Praise God, that didn’t stop the Holy Spirit!

And, thankfully, it still doesn’t.

If we’re not careful, our committees become a hiding place. Then again, so do our worship services. Even our Bible studies. The only way they don’t is by making sure we stay among the people.

Stay blessed…john

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John Fletcher

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