We learned a myriad of lessons from this experience, which eventually stretched through a vacation into a three-month sabbatical for us. The first and most basic lesson, of course, was that we all corporately, including the minister and his family, need to be serving one another. If the total body is exercising its gifts, not so much falls on the shoulders of the professional clergy who have a tendency to overload anyway.
Second, we learned we need to let go of those things that can’t be done. It is simple, but difficult, to realize that the Lord is the Head of the church. We are stewarding on His behalf within it. If there are personnel or program gaps, it is His problem.
At the time of my plummeting, we were in the middle of important church structural changes. We had to remove ourselves during critical months of restructuring and commit to the hands of other faithful stewards this strategic work. Returning from our sabbatical, we found they had exercised their gifts beautifully. Stars, bars, and merit awards!
The Lord was capable of working in His church through other abilities than our own. It was a truth we knew, but needed to radically experience. We were forced to let go, and others were forced to pick up. The strength we required was supplied through the corporate health of our functioning body.
For those several months I learned to cry, “Help! Help!”
A full gamut of loving ministry was extended to me. And, I allowed myself to become dependent, for that while, upon what I received. The Enemy had probably intended this incident for bad, but the Lord as usual used it for good in our lives.
We are servants of Christ and servants within His body. We need to learn to hear articulate and inarticulate cries for help. We need to develop our capacities for service. We need to be aware that whenever we are serving one another, there is always the possibility of new and fearful situations. Our insecurities arise to assail us. “Should I do this? Should I call? Won’t I just be bothering them? Will that person be offended if I offer to help? Is this the Spirit telling me to do this, or is this my own flesh goading me into trouble?”
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen Mains serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags. This micro-finance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
Karen has long had an interest in Christian hospitality and is the author of the best-selling book, Open Heart, Open Home.
An award-winning author of several other books, Karen continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
For decades, Karen and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. The are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and churches at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Likewise, pastors will find special resources to help them prepare effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.