Saturday, August 6, 2016

All Hands On Deck

He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers-all of them skilled workers and designers.

-- Exodus 35:35

One of the world's largest cruise ships, Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas, is 1,141 feet long and carries more than 4,900 guests. Its gourmet restaurants serve thousands of meals each day. And the ship's laundry cleans just as many towels, sheets and table linens.

Supporting this floating city are hundreds Cruise Shipof talented, hard-working crew members--all dedicated to making their guests' vacations as fun and memorable as possible. The ship's complement includes an army of stewards, cooks, mechanics and even daycare attendants--and that's not to mention everyone assigned to navigate the ship. From captain to cabin boy, every crew member has a critical role in helping their vessel sail effortlessly through both calm seas and choppy waters.

Like a full-service cruise ship, the church also needs dedicated people who work together toward a common goal. That's because we're much more than just a group of folks who meet on Sundays to listen to the pastor and sing along with the band. 

The Bible tells us that God has given every Christ-follower certain gifts, talents and resources for advancing his kingdom on Earth. Some are obvious--like singers and musicians leading worship with the band. Others relate to behind-the-scenes applications like bookkeepers and office managers who help the church use its resources wisely and efficiently. For every gift, talent and resource in the secular world, there's a corresponding application for strengthening the body of believers known collectively as The Church.

The first Christ-followers were a diverse crew from many walks of life. Some were fishermen, one was a tax collector and Jesus himself had carpentry skills. And when we fast-forward 2,000 years, the Savior still seeks those who are willing to represent him in our community and serve others with their God-given gifts, talents and resources.

"Come, follow me," Jesus once told fishermen Peter and Andrew, "and I will make you fishers of men."

If we're willing to follow the example of the first disciples and open ourselves to the great possibilities ahead, Jesus will no doubt use us to lead and strengthen his Church. It's when we all work together with a unity of purpose that community occurs and amazing things happen. So it's now up to you and me to respond to His simple--yet radical--invitation to join his crew.

Are you onboard? The Captain's call is for all hands on deck.

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