I have had a thought for a while now. It has to do with churches and church governance.
We all know people who are by nature Trustees. These are the ones who look at the church as a whole and see mostly the building. They see when things are broken and fix them without being asked. They naturally know how things work, how they fit together, and use these gifts around the church, often without anyone knowing.
We all know people who are by nature Deacons. These are the people who naturally introduce themselves to strangers, always check in on the needs of others, and are prayer warriors without anyone else knowing. While the Trustees are off fixing the building, the Deacons are out visiting people and writing encouraging cards.
We all know people who are by nature treasurers, and worship leaders, and pray-ers. The church is full of people who fill roles just by their very natures. Yet every church feels the need to elect people to these positions, and not always people with these particular giftings.
So what if instead of identifying Deacons as those willing to attend Deacon meetings, we identified people by their giftings? What if our Deacons were anyone with that inclination? What if our Trustees weren’t a group who met to look over the finances but instead those who were fixing up the church all the time? And what if we asked everyone to take a title at church given to them by others who know their personality, their activities, and their natural inclinations? What if Deacon wasn’t a title to hold but a description of who you already were?
This is a little of what John is talking about when he says, “This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” Identifying people by who they are rather than by who they claim to be.
So, if you were to take a real look at the behaviors and tendencies of your own life, what title would you have at church? What title might others give you?