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« To Be Like Jesus | Main | Will Azusa Survive A Second Century? »

Just Doin’ My Job

bushcheneyairforceone11th.jpgOne can only imagine what the overloaded schedule of a CEO or a political figure must be like. From dawn to dark, official duties, non-stop planning, reviewing and supervising swallow up hours in huge gulps. The President, for example, oversees at least 117 federal agencies, including all the branches of the military, the Social Security Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the U. S. Postal Service, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the CIA , the IRS , NASA, the GSA, the FTC, the FDIC, and the FCC all the way down to the National Indian Gaming Commission. And that’s only 17 out of the 117! As of the latest statistics, the U. S. Government employs nearly four million people. Each one has a job description, a rated salary, a benefits package and an employee file. As unwieldy as the U. S. federal government may be, the public still holds the President responsible for all mistakes and mismanagement that occur at any level in any agency in his charge. The bureaucratic debacle of FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, painfully reminded the President that all problems ascend up the chain of command to the Oval Office.

Massive bureaucracies like the U. S. Government and huge corporations like Microsoft and General Motors function only on the clear understanding that everyone has a job to do. The President has to be able to hand a huge responsibility over to a trusted public servant and ask him or her to do the job. Every day, thousands of bosses hand over boxes—-or hard drives—-full of files to thousands of workers and trust them to do their jobs. Maybe processing the file of a single employee out of the millions of people seems utterly insignificant, but it has to be done. The President counts on the lowly worker, umpteen levels down in the federal scale, to faithfully discharge his or her duties. Like the branches of a tree, individual employees may be far from the trunk, but they must still understand their connection to the trunk. They may say, “I work for the U. S. Government”, or “I work for Microsoft”, but they have specific jobs and work for specific managers. They may be floaters, part of the pooled resources or general employees, but they don’t wander around, unattached, doing whatever they feel like doing. They work within prescribed guidelines and policies and are accountable to real bosses.

Just because the church is a spiritual entity does not exempt it from operating in real time with real people. Jesus validated the tree-like structure for the church when he said, “I am the vine, ye are the branches.” The branches of a vine, or a tree, grow in a hierarchical configuration. Every branch owes its existence, its support and it nourishment to the trunk. Paul enlarged on this concept in 1 Corinthians 12:14-18. “For the body is not one member, but many…18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.” The effectiveness of the church as an organization depends on each individual member performing his or her job with all seriousness and dedication. The apostle says as much in his epistle. “And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. But God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.” 1 Corinthians 12:21-25

The church achieves maximum efficiency when the people show up to work every day ready and eager to perform well. Unfortunately, too many of us discard the Jesus model of the church when it doesn’t fit with our mood. Do these complaints sound familiar?

I don’t like my job . Maybe not, but doing a job you don’t like now prepares you for something better later on. Decide to like it. Want to be promoted? Promotion is based on attitude as much as skill.

My job is not important. Do you mean to say that you are more important than your job? Your job may not be important to you, but it is to someone. If Jesus thinks it’s important, it is.

I don’t like the way you do your job . You can criticize or you can help. Pray, don’t judge.

I don’t feel appreciated. Contentment comes from a job well done, not from being noticed.

I can’t do my job because I don’t have all the resources that I need. Are you whining? Whiners never have what they need to get the job done. Winners succeed against all odds. Go figure.

I want your job. Why? Do you want the glory and the recognition that you think goes with the other guy’s job? Are you eaten up with envy? Are you aware of the pressures involved? See number one.

I can do your job better than you can. Or, maybe not. It may be more difficult than you think. Whatever your reasoning, it does not excuse you to under-perform in your present position. If you want a better job, pray for the promotion of whoever is doing it now.

Instead of asking for more appreciation, appreciate more that you have even a minor role in the world’s greatest entity—-the church! I want to do my job. You should want to do your job. When all of us do our jobs with faithfulness and enthusiasm, Jesus wins.

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