What’s the HARDEST job in the church?
Is it being a pastor? (I have often thought so.)
Is it working in the nursery? (At times, I was sure this was the hardest.)
Maybe it’s leading worship? (Is it possible to really lead more than a small percentage of congregants in genuine worship at any given time?)
The truth is, we ALL have the hardest job in the church, because the job is not a position or title. It is a condition of heart.
It is: to love God with all the heart, all the mind, all the soul and all the strength – the greatest commandment and the very heart of God’s will for every follower of Jesus. And that doesn’t mean just any love, but agape love, defined in the thirteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians.
Agape is the job description for every position or title in the church, regardless of how exalted or how low.
What about love makes it the hardest job in the church?
Your FLESH. Your old man, the carnal mind, the selfish life.
Agape love is impossible for the flesh. (Yes, it sounds unspiritual to call love a “job” until you consider the impossibility of living it without God’s direct involvement.)
That’s why Jesus said, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me.
To follow Jesus means, first and foremost, following Him in character and condition of heart.
His incarnate character and condition of heart were shaped by fervent agape love.
Regardless of position or title, you will be an abject failure if you do not master the job to love God fervently.
In and of ourselves, you and I might sound good and look good, might appear to do our churchly tasks with excellence and according to the ostensible job description. But without agape love, you and I are nothing.
No matter where you serve – everything is secondary to the love of God. Why? Because if you love Him fervently, you will move to increase your faith, you will hunger for His word, you will share the gospel; that kind of love will motivate you to humble yourself and serve.
Agape is JOB ONE in the economy of God.
When you do master that love, your greatest desire will be to please Him.
You will love Jesus so much that the love you have for your family will, at times, look like hate. The love you have for your own life will look like hate. (Luke 14:26)
You will deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Him. You will be willing to forsake all for His sake. And as Jesus said, if you love Him you will obey Him.
If you don’t love Him that way yet, begin now. Your service in the church congregation is great training for loving Jesus in the person of those who come through the doors. (Training, because most people coming in, though they may be ogres, are on their best behavior for their brief visit. The real test of love comes Monday through Saturday.)
Loving God is the hardest job in the church (within the walls of a building or outside them) but once you deny yourself, fully crucify your flesh and renew your mind, it can make any task the easiest job in the church.
Don’t vie for a church position or title. Vie for the agape of God.