Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Plug In and Serve

A few weeks ago I was having a discussion with a co-worker of mine. She has recently re-located back to the Louisville area from Dayton and has found a church home close by her new house. Although she loves her church, she was challenged by finding a place to "plug in and serve." When she used that statement, she said, "If that makes sense." I told her to another church person it does, but to someone not involved in church, it just sounds like we're crock pots....

....after pondering on that, I began to compare the aspects of "plugging in and serving" at your local church to a crock pot. If there were a Christian Webster's dictionary, it would define "plug in and serve" as "finding your place in the local church to do ministry." And, there are similarities to ministry when you compare it to the plug in and serve crock pot.

First. all ingredients for one meal go into one pot. I love a good roast with carrots and potatoes in the crock pot. And, each ingredient plays their role in providing a wholesome yummy meal. Just like in ministry, we all work together as different ingredients in service to fulfill the work of the church.

Second, if an ingredient is missing, it is very evident. Another favorite thing I like to make in the crock pot is soup. Let's say you make a pot of potatoe soup, but eliminate the potatoes. You really only have a creamy vegetable broth. Not very hearty. In a local church, everyone is gifted specifically, and not all the same. If one person doesn't do the things they've been gifted to do, our sevice comes up lacking....much like the watery mess of broth without the potatoes.

And, last, the other name for a crock pot is a slow cooker....because it cooks slow. Brilliant naming convention. If I put in the ingredients for a great dinner at 10am and want to eat at noon, my dinner will be pretty nasty. It takes a good 6-8 hours for the slow cooking process to seep through every part of every morsel of food in that pot. When the final product is served, the juicy, tender dish is so succulent and appetizing that it was surely worth the wait. Sometimes in ministry, I have a microwave mentality. I figure that the first time I reach out to someone, they'll respond with open arms and completely change their life. But, that's usually not the case. It takes time. God's Time. Not mine. And, like the crock pot, when we let things develop in His Time, the results are a whole lot more appealing.

Slow and steady wins the race. And when God is doing the cooking, what a glorious feast it is.

5 comments:

Lorie said...

Cool analogy. And insight. Thanks, Punky! :)

SheThinker said...

I'm not sure exactly what it is, but sunday school doesn't really feel like sunday school anymore.
We used to be more involved with each other, but at the time that I stopped going on Sunday mornings it was just another sermon almost. It's not that I don't like going and seeing my friends, but it seems like SS should be more smaller group thing. I mean, I get one sermon that morning, so why should I go to SS and feel like I'm just sitting listening to another. I've just started not going in the morning and not really worrying about it. It might be the wrong reason, but it's basically the only one I have.

Another (small) thing that bothers me is that you're the first person to mention me not going. No one else has ever asked "why weren't you there on Sunday?" Seems like someone would notice a trend here...

SarahLynn said...

I love that you are like Jesus in that you realize that people don't change over night! I too forget that it doesn't happen as fast as a microwave cooker! People need to process and simmer just like food!
Good post Rosie!!

Katrina said...

I loved this analogy, especially the last paragraph, about being patient and letting the Spirit do His work in His time. I forget that so much!

Thank you for the encouragement, as always!

RosieBoo said...

Maybe it shows my love of food to use that analogy for ministry.. :)