OK… Jesus didn’t ever say that.
But nonetheless, it’s true.
It’s easy for those of us that are called to ministry to feel like we are indispensable. That is… if we didn’t do what we’re doing, it just wouldn’t get done.
The Kingdom would be significantly worse without us. Right?
(And hopefully, we’re all making advancements and our work is making a difference).
And without us, our church would be a mess.
But the truth is:
None of us are indispensable.
In fact, we’re all replaceable. Every one of us.
Think about it. Were you the first pastor at your church? Unless you planted the church, probably not. (And hint: you probably won’t be the last).
Or if you’re a staff member, someone probably held your position before you. And when you’re not there, someone else will pick up the slack.
As someone who runs a church staffing company, you may think it typical that I would say that everyone is replaceable… that I may actually lay in bed at night praying for people to leave their church so we have another search to work.
While my passion is to help churches and candidates find a great fit, I know the value of long-term, healthy ministry. It’s my wish that pastors and church staff would NOT move around as much as they do. It’s one of the core reasons we started Chemistry Staffing: to cut down on the bad fits and unhealthy hiring practices in the church that cause turnover and ministry stall out.
But as they say, there is no “I” in pastor. (There’s no “I” in church staff or a lot of other words either).
Here’s the thing we need to watch out for: When we start to think so highly of ourselves that we think we’re irreplaceable… when we think that we know more than we know… and when we decide that we’re better than most at what we do, we run the risk of actually being replaced.
Take a moment now to crack open a can of Proverbs 16:18. Go ahead. Read it. (I’ll wait.)
Here’s today’s truth:
God doesn’t need you to achieve His purpose on this earth. And he sure doesn’t need me.
In fact, scripture shows many times over that he often preferred the unqualified, the undignified, the unspiritual, and the least of these to help achieve the really big things he wanted to accomplish.
But he sure wants us on the team.
He wants us to contribute. He wants to use us.
We do this willingly. He has called us. What we do is an honor and a privilege… an act of worship to the very One that called us.
It’s a fine line sometimes between managing our pride and leading our churches effectively. It’s a line all of us probably cross from time to time.
Everything we do today should be based on the fact that we’re completely replaceable. We serve at the will and pleasure of our Heavenly Father (and our board). 🙂
Each day I thank God that I get to play even the tiniest part in this story. His story. He could totally do it without me. But I’m glad he chose not to.
Treat each moment as an act of worship.
As something that we get the privilege of doing. Of something that makes a difference. And of something that we are extremely thankful that we get to do.