Investors and Consumers
I have often touched on the concept of investors and consumers as it related to our relationships and faith. But how does this apply to the church body? Am I an investor in or a consumer of the church?
The church has been described as a body in scripture and throughout church history. It is not just a body of people, but we are the very Body of Christ with Him as our Head. This is significant because no sane person hates his own body. Rather, he cares for it, washes it, protects it, and preserves it. We watch what we eat and drink. We limit our slothfulness and take time to sleep. We have a surgery to repair it, and take medicine to kill that which is destroying it. Why? Because when one loves something, she invests in it.
Americans and other westerners spend huge amounts of money on health and wellness. I have seen an interesting change in the world. Early in my lifetime, I remember a teacher who would run for fun! We would watch him run around the track at our school in these ridiculous shorts. I would sometimes see him run by my house up the mountain. And we thought he was crazy! Who would run when nobody is chasing them???
Year after year the numbers of people who wore ridiculous shorts and ran for fun grew. Soon there was a whole industry surrounding this new trend. Today it is uncommon to not see people exercising. I once saw a man running at 9:00 on Christmas Eve. He was wearing the same ridiculous shorts, an Under Armour shirt, and a stocking cap – it was 7 degrees and snowing.
Investment requires commitment and sacrifice. When everyone else is watching their favorite Christmas movie or eating the last bit of figgy pudding, the investor goes for a run in the snow. As the years go by, it becomes easier and easier to recognize those who are investors from those who are consuming their bodies. Most of us probably are somewhere in the middle – and our bodies reflect our commitment!
If we love the Body of Christ, we will invest in Her health and well-being. I have noticed that there are those who are fully committed to the life and health of the Body of Christ. They invest in Her development and ministry through participation and sacrifice. These individuals are committed to the efforts of the local church in the community and recognize the role of the local church in the world.
I once read an article about clients, stakeholders and owners. I started out as a client of STIR – a consumer of its products. Somewhere along the line I became a stakeholder – though not officially. I don’t think I’ll ever own a coffee shop – way too much work! But what about the body of Christ? Am I merely a consumer of Her ministry? Am I investing in Her? Do I think that I am the owner?
Church membership is merely a commitment to be a stakeholder in the church. Our annual meeting is really just a stakeholders’ or investors’ meeting. It is a gathering of those who are committed to investing in the ministry of the church with participation, prayer, involvement, and sacrifice. Not every investor will be present, and not everyone present will be an investor. I believe that we all should be looking for new and unique ways to invest in the ministry of the local church.
I matter to others and others matter to me. I am always worshiping. I am on a mission.
Kurt Trempert is the Lead Chaplain for the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC and pastor/coach at Harvest Downtown in Colorado Springs. His blog, Kurt’s Virtual Office is reprinted here as TreVO (Trempert’s Virtual Office) and used with permission.