The pastor thought for a moment and then replied, “I believe you are at the wrong church. The church you are looking for is three blocks down the street.”
The man followed the preacher’s directions and soon came to an overgrown lot, on which sat an abandoned, boarded up, closed church building. It was a dead church—gone out of business.
You see, living churches demand the services and ministry of its membership. In every church I've ever been a part of, the vast majority of the work was done by a relatively small number of people. Yet that just doesn't square with what the Bible says about the way Christians are to serve in the Kingdom.
It is the same here in our church, with one main difference. A large portion of the work done here and the positions filled are by those who are older. We are so grateful to those who for years and years have selflessly served the Lord and other people by teaching, ushering, cleaning, handing out bulletins, serving on committees, and so on.
But the harsh reality of it is that many of those people are exhausted. Some of them are no longer with us. And the ranks of people who say they are willing to work in the church is thinning rapidly.
However, there are more than enough people here to fill the positions needed to operate an active, healthy church. They're just so busy doing so many other things that attending a morning worship service is about all their priorities will allow them to squeeze in.
What we need are men and women who are not content to let other people teach and lead their young people. We need those who are committed to the Lord and believe what His Word says, and who are willing to give of themselves in ways which honor Christ. And we need some younger people involved in the ministries of our church.
So today I am writing to those in our church who are under the age of 50. Bluntly, I am asking that each of you look down the road a few years, and imagine this church without the wonderful core of older people we have, who do so much so faithfully. What will happen then, if you do not step up and volunteer?
Dead churches don’t need volunteers. Living churches do.
--Rocky Henriques, www.uticabc.com