Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.
A long time ago, as one of my many training opportunities, I shadowed a leader for a week up at a Christian camp. It was a beautiful setting, up in the mountains with thousands of students. This particular leader was one of the leaders over all the counselors of the camp. He was in charge of making sure kids were all out of their cabins and where they were supposed to be. He also helped handle any discipline problems or deeper spiritual issues where the counselor might need some assistance. We also stayed up late to make sure no kids were sneaking out of their cabins or trying to pull off any camp pranks. Yes, we caught a few and escorted them back to their beds. In our ventures and treks around camp, this leader kept picking up trash. At first, I did not even notice the empty soda bottles, candy wrappers, or tumbleweed napkins. But this guy pointed them out and invited me to help him. My hands were constantly full of trash. I asked him why he did this because it did not seem like this was his/our responsibility. He used this as a teachable moment to let me know that with leadership comes great responsibility, and though there are custodians who pick up trash, we should too, because making this camp a safe, clean, well-run place is our responsibility. “Plus,” he said as he looked me right in the eyes, “it keeps us humble,” as he loaded up my already full hands with more trash.
Responsibility is taking the opportunity to act, to respond to a need or duty. As a young leader I was learning to be responsible in what was asked of me and responsible in the position of leadership I was given.
God gives us all responsibility. Here are a few:
John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
1 Peter 3:8-9 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.
Galatians 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
There is a great benefit in taking responsibility. Like in my taking on the responsibility to keep a camp clean, our acts of responsibility help the greater cause of whatever we are involved in. Also, like the trash was not my fault, yet I was coached to take on the responsibility to deal with it, we can take responsibility to deal with and find solutions to some of the hurts we have faced in our life. It may not be our fault we experienced a trauma, but we can take responsibility to get help and healing. Taking responsibility to be part of a solution does keep us out of a victim cycle.
We live in an age where passing blame and pushing away from responsibility is both accepted and celebrated. Yet, that gets us nowhere and isolates us. Responsibility gives us purpose, connects us to a higher cause, and builds into us a greater sense of care for our community.
Ecclesiastes 9:10a Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might…
Church can be a place to grow in taking on some responsibility. Most every church has opportunities to be part of what they are doing. Why not step up and take on some responsibility. Responsibility is a good thing! If you don’t regularly attend a church, we would like to invite you to view or visit Neighborhood Church. Our website has all the information you need for times and locations of all our Sunday gatherings. We would love for you to join in. You can also find us online at neighborhoodchurch.com. As well, if you would like to view any of our past worship gatherings or videos, visit our YouTube channel, or just search Neighborhood Church Cypress or Neighborhood Church Los Alamitos on their YouTube site.
Taking on responsibly along with you,
Mike McKay, Lead Pastor, Neighborhood Church