Monday, July 30, 2007

Not being a burden

So I've been doing some thinking lately on this passage 1 Thess 2:9-12
9For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. 10 God also,You are witnesses, and how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers. 11For you know how, like a father with his children, 12we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.
Jen, Baxter and I have been doing a bible study on Thessalonians. We're going through the book slowly due to our busy schedules, and it's been slower lately since I've been pondering this passage in my head for a while.

Part of our conversation has been focused on the thought that many church goers are just exactly that. They go to church. They hear the message and they go home. They attend services. This isn't right and isn't what we are called to do, which is what makes this passage hard for pastors and their families.

But as I've continued to think about this, knowing that I can't expect in this day and age for pastors to work a full-time job in order not to be a burden on the people I've also been forced to consider what other things come into play. It's more than the financial -- and the financial we know from other other scripture shouldn't even be an issue -- the pastor, the workers in the church should be cared for so that they can devote their attentions to the work of the Lord.

We, the workers in the church, are not to be a burden to the people that we serve before the Lord.

It's been dawning on me that it is the little things that add to "burdenship".... like keeping the lawn mowed so that people are not deterred from worshiping God because they are (unrightfully) distracted by the state of the pastor's house. It's having a positive attitude about the members of the church. It's holding up a good example of what it means to be a believer....even if it is hard sometimes and you feel so mightly discouraged even by the members of your own church. It's doing things like turning off the lights, conserving water, etc particularly if you are living in supplied housing.

This passage has been more of thought-provoker than I expected it to be...and I still feel like there is something that I am missing in this whole idea of not being a burden to the people that we serve before the Lord.

I welcome your thoughts.


Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

I understand this concept all too well, except from the perspective of the one being the burden. As a single parent, I am under the eldership at our church and there have always been one or two who have had particular care for us. They (and their wives are my best friends, so that is helpful)have truly looked after my soul - and yet, I feel sometimes, just because this takes time away from their own families, that it is a burden. It reminds me though of the passage - Gal 6 I think - where we are instructed to bear one anothers burdens and so fulfill the law

Annette said...

I have a few single mom friends who fight being a burden. They won't ask for help from the church even when they need it, even when the help they need will allow them to attend services. Drives me nuts. It's not biblical. People can and should help their fellow believers, but we can't if that help is refused. And that refusal, in and of itself ends up being a burden for the church as the gifts of those women are refused. (not shared because they can't get to church, or be part of small groups etc)