Last night our church kicked off our first night of VBS and it was great night of ministry. However something funny happened during the evening that after thinking about it became instructional for us as followers of Christ and as a church. There was a light bulb that needed to be changed in the stairwell leading up to the fellowship hall. I was asked if we had a step ladder or stool somewhere so that we could get the bulb changed. I thought for a moment and then said, “I don’t think we have one anywhere.” However in the back of my mind I could have sworn there was one somewhere. Later that evening I was talking with my wife, Holly, about needing to get a step ladder or stool so we could get that bulb changed before then next night of VBS. Much to my surprise she said, “You have one in your office.” At first I thought she was mistaken but then she said, “It has a bunch of papers and stuff on it, but there’s a step ladder in your office.” And she was right. Just to the left of my desk is a small step ladder and it did have stacks of papers on it.
Now why is that instructional for us as followers of Christ and as a local church? For three years that step ladder had been in my office and for three years I had used it as a makeshift shelf to hold papers and other stuff. I had gotten so use to using it for that purpose that I had completely forgotten what it actually was and how it was supposed to be used! So much so that I didn't even realize I had a step ladder in my office! Our lives as followers of Christ and our life as a local church can be like that step ladder sometimes. For years we go on living our lives or operating as a “church” in ways that God never intended our lives to be used for or in ways for the church to operate. That doesn't necessarily mean we are using our lives or living as a church in bad ways or not doing good things. There was nothing inherently wicked about papers sitting on the step ladder in my office. However it wasn't being used how it was designed to be used and therefore things, like replacing the bulb, were left undone, the very things that a step ladder is designed to help fix.
If we were to take an honest look at our lives individually as followers of Christ and collectively as a local church, how much would they resemble that step ladder in my office? Are we living our lives and living as a church for the purpose for which God designed us to be used or are we doing a lot of good things, but not the best thing, the very thing God has purposed our lives individually and collectively to accomplish? God has designed us and His Church to live lives as followers of Jesus Christ making disciples of our neighbors and the nations for His glory.
The light bulb is now changed because the ladder was used how it was designed to be used. The question is, "Will our neighborhoods and the nations be changed because our lives and our church is used by God the way it was designed to be used?"