By Leonard C. Albert
Some time ago I heard the story of man who was part of a study group who was visiting a grease factory as part of a school project. This was no ordinary grease factory. It was a model in the industry.
The organization was incredible! Every one knew exactly what to do. There were many workers moving with precision throughout the entire plant. There were huge, stainless steel machines making grease . . . tons of grease. The students were very impressed until one inquisitive lad asked these questions. “Where is the loading dock? How do you get the grease to the consumer?” The tour guide replied, “We do not have a loading dock here because it takes so much grease to run these machines that we don’t have any left over to sell!”
Is this a picture of many churches today? Motion without mission. Good organization, many people working, a lot of activity but no product (the gospel) being delivered to the people who really need it. It seems that the plight of the grease factory is the plight of many churches today: a lot of activity within the four walls of the church but because it takes so much energy inside there is no ministry outside. One pastor said it this way, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” We need to know that we are a “gathered” and “scattered” people. We gather around the centrality of Jesus Christ but we are scattered as salt and light. We are not the “salt of the sanctuary” or the “light of the church” but rather we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. The New Testament church is a church in motion. The work of the church is not only at the church! We are a force pushing out into our communities, neighborhoods, cities and nations.
Forget about just keeping the machinery greased . . . let’s remember that it’s not about grease but grace—we are to talk about God’s “amazing grace.” As a local church lay coordinator you can help change the grease factory story. With God’s help you can be the catalyst for great opportunities for the local church laity. There are so many opportunities for outreach beyond the confines of the local building. Let God show you and your fellow members where to minister today!