Previously Posted on Church Production Magazine November 04, 2013
Production is a thankless job. We all know it, yet we still go in each weekend and man our posts behind a camera, an audio console, or hidden away in a video room. We may never know if what we do actually makes a difference in people’s lives. Often times our tasks become so commonplace that everything seems to be more of a “chore” than an act of service. I have to confess: recently I forgot why I am in ministry. I let my work become just a job that I clock in and out of.
A few weeks ago, we celebrated “open baptisms” at my church: open meaning all you have to do is leave your seat if you feel called, and get in the water. There is no class you have to take, no testimony to share, you just have to make the move. This is always a powerful time, and we often have people lined up backstage to “take the plunge” so to speak. This particular evening, services ran long and I had a dinner reservation to get to. I was packed up and waiting for the lights to go out when I heard someone call out, “Shaun, we have 1 more, hold up.” I put on my happy Christian face, texted my wife, and waited for the person to go downstairs and change. When they emerged, the pastor baptized them in front of a slew of family and friends, and as soon as we were finished I rushed off to dinner without a second thought.A week later, a gentleman in the church came up to me and thanked me for the extra effort I put in the previous week. He could obviously see the bewilderment on my face, so he began to explain… He said he and his wife had been sitting behind the person that was baptized last – the one I had to wait for – and that they had been praying for that person all through service. They could see that they were struggling with something and fighting some inner turmoil all through the sermon. He went on to just express the admiration he felt that my team would stay and serve this person in such a way. It deeply impacted him and his wife. I was ashamed. I sat in the booth being a grump because I was inconvenienced. Not at all rejoicing in the fact that the Spirit was moving. This realization was an internal gut check. I began thinking about what Jesus said in Matthew 25:40 “…Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” We all have bad days, and it’s important not to beat ourselves up when we act human and mistakenly put ourselves before the needs of others. There is forgiveness there (which I am very grateful for); however, it is important to be aware of our motives and actions and not use the “I’m only human” card as a free pass. So, back to my opening thought that we have thankless jobs. Sometimes that may be true, but our ministry isn’t going along unnoticed. Lives are being changed, and that is something to take pride in.