The Lord of the Church

The Lord of the Church

by Pastor Kurt Ebert on May 01, 2024

“5 What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 8 He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. 9 For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building.” (1 Corinthians 3:5-9).

I write this article to you in this period following Pastor Maxx Fisher’s call visit here to Calvary and the time when we shall hear his acceptance or his decline of our pastoral call. We now find ourselves in a time of waiting and wondering. During times of waiting, many questions arise. And many of the questions that have been on my mind aren’t coming from me. Plenty of people have already been asking, “How do you think it went? What did you think about him? What do you think his response will be? What did he think about…? How do you think he would fit with…?” And the list of questions grows with each person I talk to.

As natural as these questions might be, I feel like there are deeper questions that I am drawn to consider. What does God desire for Calvary? What is God calling us to devote ourselves to with our efforts and energies? How are we as the people of God here in this place and this time working together to praise and serve God for the amazing gifts that He has already given to us? For as important as it is to fill a position, I would argue it is more important for us to discern God’s will for the direction of our church. As important as it might be for us to seek the right person to help lead us, I believe that it is more important that each individual member of the church ask himself or herself, “How am I using my unique gifts and skills for the greater service to Jesus and His mission?”

As much as we are praying that God is preparing that right person to come and serve as our associate pastor, I think it is only right for us to be preparing ourselves to be the right community to welcome that next associate pastor. Pastors are important but they are not the church. The people are what makes a church what it is, and the pastors are but servants within the church who help “to equip the saints for works of service, for building up the body of Christ…” (Ephesians 4:12). In our reading above from 1 Corinthians 3, Paul reminds us that the servants of God are fellow workers in the kingdom. It is only as a collected people that we can accomplish the mission that Jesus has given us. Each person plays his or her part. Each person contributes to the whole. Each person can begin to see how the seeds have been planted, watered, tended, and cared for by different people along the way. But what does Paul argue
is the most important aspect of the whole process? “Only God … gives the growth” (1 Corinthians 3:7b).

May God continue to be the one at work in each of our lives. May He continue to bring forth growth in your personal faith and life, as well as within our collective life and ministry as a congregation. May we give Him all glory, honor, and praise for it is only through Him that we stand now in the powerful forgiveness and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. He alone is Lord of the Church. He alone is the one to be praised. And so, may your prayers be that Christ would be glorified among us, whatever answer might come. May Christ be our confidence in all the ups and downs of life.

May Christ continue to lead us to be people who are ready to welcome each person who enters our doors, whether they be a potential pastor or a first-time visitor. May we continue to be about the work of Connecting people to Christ, daily Learning and growing in His Word, and Caring for our community and world, as we serve others in His grace.

May God’s peace go with you this day!