“Jesus said to them, ‘Come, follow me, and I will make you a different kind of fishermen,’” (Matthew 4:19).

My wife, Rebekah, was walking to her office when she noticed a church member on the roof.

“What are you doing up there?” she called out.

“I’m cleaning out the gutters,” David replied.

“Why are you cleaning out the gutters?” she continued.

“I’m cleaning out the gutters because I love Jesus!” he called back.

“Wonderful,” she said. “Carry on.”

This past Sunday, the church ordained and installed new elders. This involves one of my favorite moments, when a first-time elder kneels for ‘the laying on of hands.’ There is always a positive charge of energy, something powerful and unarguably real that flows through the hands of those praying and moves into the person receiving ordination. The presence of God is palpable.

Rebekah’s message about leadership focused on the fact that, in Christianity, God pursues us. Seventeenth-century theologian/mathematician Blaise Pascal wrote: “Jesus says, ‘Console yourself; you would not seek me if I had not found you.’”

In the culture where Christ lived and taught, students followed the Rabbi who most appealed to them. But that’s not how Jesus rolled. Jesus does the choosing. He said — and he still says — “Follow me.” They put everything else aside to become disciples.

Likewise, the church does not need volunteers. It needs people who listen for God and then respond.

David on the church roof wasn’t a volunteer, he was there because he loved Jesus; and — in consequence — he followed Jesus. We don’t want people cleaning out the gutters, or feeding the hungry, or making coffee, or working with the youth, or any other church thing, unless they are doing it in response to God’s calling on their life, doing it because they follow Jesus.

We came to church to worship. We installed new elders. We shared communion. We shared the peace of Christ. This is church. If this is not your experience, please consider becoming a part of an authentic faith community and make your decision — renew your decision — to follow Jesus.

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Derek Maul
Derek Maul has written for many news outlets, including the Tampa Tribune, The United Methodist News Service, All Pro Dad, FOCUS Magazine, Newsweek, USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, Presbyterians Today, Guideposts, Chicken Soup for the Soul and many other publications. Read Derek Maul’s daily blog posts at www.derekmaul.wordpress.com.