I used to pastor this small church in Houston TX. It was in the suburbs and had lots of young families. The church had no money and struggled to make ends meet.
After the church had voted for us to come and be the new pastor, but before we moved there, they found out through an internal audit that the treasurer not only hadn’t been paying the bills but had also been stealing church funds. They were going to close it down. I said, “Maybe that’s what God wants me to do.” I went. We never missed a payment.
Houston was booming. New neighborhoods were popping up everywhere. Every business and home had immaculate lawns. Even the medians were manicured. Everyone took great care of their property. But the church couldn’t afford lawn service and nobody was available to help. So it fell to me. Every Saturday we would go try to maintain the church grounds. Amy and I would mow and pull weeds, and our two small sons would ride their plastic three wheelers in the parking lot.
There was one flower bed that was really bad. It was right next to the door. Nut grass that grew like weeds. Well, it was weeds, drove me to distraction. I tried to stay on it but I couldn’t. What really chapped me were the comments. “Pastor, that bed looks really bad, we need to get someone to get in there and take care of it.” One Sunday, I don’t know, I guess I’d had enough. Two or three people complained about the weed bed. So I stood at the pulpit and said, “I understand we have a weed problem. Several of you have noticed it. I usually try to keep it pulled but I suddenly realized this week that I am depriving you of your God given opportunity to serve Him. I hereby deputize you to ministry. I release you all to do the work of the church. From now on you have the right and responsibility to respond to whatever need presents itself. If you see a weed and God brings it to your attention then consider that to be your weed. You have my permission to pull it. Don’t call me unless you’ve tried and couldn’t do it. Here’s our motto, “See a weed pull it. Feel a need, meet it.” You are the church. Do ministry.”
That changed that church. It was no longer someone else’s responsibility. People understood that it was their problem. And they quit griping about that weed bed.
1 Peter 4:10 As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
Here’s the good news. We are all ministers uniquely designed and gifted for God’s work. So I free you to do that work. The more you do the better you feel. Trust me. See a weed pull it. Find a need meet it.