Word of the Month

All for the congregation

June 2006

In one of his letters Apostle Paul writes: “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men … for you serve the Lord Christ” (cf. Colossians 3: 23-24) With these words the apostle summarises his principles on the Christian home, in which he addresses the members of the family (wives, husbands, children …) one after the other. In keeping with the apostle’s example, I would like to address this same message to the members of the family of God: “You serve the Lord Christ and not a human being!” That is spirit of serving that should prevail in the work of God. This applies first and foremost to the ministers: when you make a visit to those in your care, or when you, dear deacons, stand at the door and welcome the brethren, you must be aware that you serve the Lord Christ and not a human being!

Dear choir leader, when you practise a hymn with the choir and things do not quite work out to your satisfaction and you are perhaps disappointed, then remember: you serve the Lord Christ and not a human being!

Dear brothers and sisters, when you dedicate your talents to the choir or when you teach a class, remember: you serve the Lord Christ!

You dear sisters, when you take care of various duties and tasks for the family and in the home which your husbands could do just as well – thereby leaving them time to perform their duties in the work of God – you are performing a great service in the work of God. I will not shy away from mentioning that! In so doing, all of you serve the Lord Christ. This awareness shifts our perspective and allows us to derive a very special power of conviction.

When we undertake something in the work of God, or when we make a decision, we must naturally always ask: “Am I really serving the Lord with this?” If our own ideas or interests are the motivation behind our efforts, we are not serving the Lord. Only when our inspiration comes from above, do we serve the Lord. I will give you an example: suddenly you have an idea. Perhaps you even become annoyed when others do not see things the same way and disagree with you, and then you feel like pushing your own way through by force. Things cannot work this way in the work of God! We serve the Lord. He is the one who must direct us! His will is the deciding factor. Let us always act accordingly.

I would also like to address another related issue that I hear about from time to time. Some are of the opinion that the New Apostolic Church needs a little reforming. Perhaps some think they can incorporate one or the other of their own ideas here and there. I suppose this is all well-meant, but there is a fundamental argument that contradicts this: we serve the Lord and not human beings! It is not a question of human thoughts or considerations that we would like to incorporate! We must always orient ourselves according to the Lord! Just so that no one misunderstands: If certain things arise in the congregation that are not in line with the divine will, we can definitely say something! But if we are truly motivated by brotherly love and take our direction from the Lord, we will do this in some other way than to simply push our own opinions through out of defiance.

Dear children of God, please accept this advice and try to put it into practice: “… whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord.” Our reward will come from Him and no one else.

(From a divine service by the chief apostle)