Over the years I have fallen into the ministry trap of if you want to get something done right, you have to do it yourself. There is a certain wiring of any minister’s DNA, I think, that wants to do a good job in part because we tend to be perfectionists or it reflects on our job performance. The sad part is that once this happens, church members will usually default to letting you do it all the time. If that trend continues a minister can easily be overwhelmed.
Maybe the writer of Ecclesiastes may have been on to something when he wrote “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12. A key survival tactic for any minister is to equip rather than do the work of the church. Who are the people in your church that are capable of doing things to assist you in your work? How can you train them to do a better job in their laity role? They have gifts and talents that many of us ministers do not have and are more effective in their roles than we would ever be. Sometimes even getting them to read Scripture during worship, offering up prayers or taking on a project that is near and dear to them may create a positive excitement in the church that Satan will have a hard overcoming. With each step toward equipping your church family, you have a powerful team and not a bunch of Lone Rangers.
But what about the idea of three? There has been so much emphasis over the past two decades about how to help the local church that we overlook the dynamic of working together beyond that realm. Are you and your church members working with other churches in your area for Kingdom growth? We need to realize in this generation that if we don’t make a concerted effort in working together with each other that we will eventually die together. Along with this reality is that your community is watching to see if Christians can truly get along. What message are you sending to them about God’s love if you don’t fellowship with other believers?
Remember that the power of only one is exhaustion. The power of two is survival. But if you don’t want to see the Church of the future to be broken, find ways to do the power of three with other churches in your area! They need you and you need them!