Friday, March 16, 2012
Be a Fountain not a Drain.
Saw this from a church newsletter and thought to share:
BE A FOUNTAIN NOT A DRAIN
I saw a marquee in front of a church’s building that had the following on it: “BE A FOUNTAIN NOT A DRAIN”. I looked over at my wife and said, “There is a sermon in there somewhere.” Indeed, there is a lesson in this simple statement that every Christian needs to hear.
Christians will either be a fountain or they will be a drain when it comes to their responsibilities in the kingdom of God. This is especially seen in the local work of a congregation. There is no middle ground. As a member of a local church, I am either a fountain that nourishes the work or I am a drain that is depleting the energy and life from that work.
Paul expressed the ‘either or’ principle when writing about the life of the Christian. “Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.” (ROMANS 6:16-18)
Having become slaves of righteousness, we are bound to fulfill our servanthood. Slaves have a vested interest in the success of their master. The accomplishing of the master’s desire is directly related to the faithfulness of the slave. The lazy servant fails to understand that he is important in the process of completing the task. A modern expression to emphasize this principle is, “he got skin in the game”.
Every member of a local church has “got skin in the game”. Therefore, when a member is lazy and a slacker regarding the work of the local church, they become a drain rather than a fountain of life giving water. Drain is defined as, “To deplete gradually, especially to the point of complete exhaustion.” (American Heritage Dictionary) My oldest son has a GMC pickup truck that began having a problem with the battery losing power when the truck wasn’t run for a day or so. It was determined that it had an electrical short that drained the battery. Like the electrical short in my son’s truck, a member who does not consider that they have “skin in the game” will drain the life out of a local church.
Christians often lament the lack of growth in the congregation where they hold membership. We all have known of local churches that at one time were growing but today are on the verge of death. Why do congregations find themselves in this dilemma? In my humble opinion, it is because members have failed in their servitude by losing sight of their personal responsibility. A local church’s spiritual vitality is predicated upon the individual member’s participation. Yes! Every member has “got skin in the game”!
Some will say, “I can’t do anything.” Peter says you can, and he was inspired by God to say so. “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.” (2 PETER 1:3-10)
What makes a local church grow and do the work God has assigned to it? It takes a membership where each individual member is personally involved in every aspect of its work. In this way and only in this way, will it be a living active organism.
Members who are fountains will give forth their energies to serve. Local churches that are alive and well have members who are fountains. Further, churches whose members are drains are being depleted of their life’s energy which leaves them a useless shell; an illusion rather than the real thing.
Which are you, a fountain or a drain?
From: The Pound Proclaimer is published monthly by the Pound church of Christ 9517A Orby Cantrell Hwy. Pound, VA 24279
All articles by the editor unless otherwise stated
Editor: Glen Young
Again: which are you? Fountain or Drain? Thoughts?