I recently read the book Everybody Matters, in which the authors, Bob Chapman and Raj Sisodia, extol the virtues of a new kind of business culture taking hold in more and more pockets of our corporate world today. It is “a culture that puts people first and where true success is measured by the way we touch the lives of people” and a culture in which “all team members can realize their gifts, share those gifts, and go home each day fulfilled” (Everybody Matters, p. 12).
“Everybody matters” is a principle that can be applied to the church as well, of course. It is a principle that should define our mission statements and be at the heart of our strategic planning as a people of God.
I am reminded of the description St. Paul gives of the Body of Christ when he says, in 1 Corinthians 12:14-20:
The body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
We all have a part to play in the Body of Christ and in the Church at large and no one person is of more value than another and no area of expertise should be given more emphasis over any other.
Everybody in the church matters, and we need to do all we can to encourage everyone in our individual churches to utilize the skills and abilities that they each have been given by God to support the greater good of spreading the Gospel message to every corner of our world.
As pastors and church leaders, it is our role to open our eyes to ways in which all people in our parishes can serve, not just a select few. When more people are engaged, there is more excitement in the atmosphere of any given place.
People want to feel noticed, loved and appreciated (and are better workers because of it) the business world has come to realize. And that is what we can do in our churches on a daily basis to bring out resources in others that may have languished untapped.
It is time to involve everyone we can in the mission of making Jesus known to every person we can. And it starts with just a nudge and just a “Good job!” and just a “Thank you for being here.” Who knows what God can use in each one of us to do amazing things?
Do not discount anyone in the church. All hands need to be on deck to get things rolling. There is no time to waste.
What are some ways in which you have inspired all people in your parishes to get involved in an activity? What effect have you seen in the faith lives of your people when they were encouraged to be engaged in getting the Gospel out in word and deed? I would love to hear your stories.