This past week I had a meeting with my pastor to discuss how one goes about becoming a formal member of the church.
I really love the church that I attend and I thought becoming a part of the collective would be mutually beneficial, so with great enthusiasm, I attended their members' meeting.
One of the things I like most about my church is that the pastor is more a teacher instead of a preacher. When he gives his sermons they are always straight from the bible and he uses the Word to educate. Nothing happens without turning to the word of God.
One of the books of the bible that talks directly about the church describes the church as a "body;" with Christ as the head. This is a concept we discussed at our members' meeting.
Think about your body. You need eyes, ears, a nose, legs, arms, a heart, etc., in order for the body to function properly. It's very much like it is in the church. We need a pastor, elders, and deacons. We need people to babysit children, make the coffee, usher for the congregation, sing in the choir, and even scrub the toilets.
The pastor said his hope was that as members of the church we would become a functioning part of the body, and you want serve an important function, like that of the eyes, the arms, or the heart.
The pastor said that if we do it right, we will be the kind of member that would be missed if we weren't around. In other words...Don't be the spleen!
Body parts like the spleen, the tonsils, and the appendix don't serve a critical function. One can live without tonsils, but try getting by without a heart!
I thought about this concept of not being the spleen and wondered how I might apply it, not just to my church life, but to my whole life.
How many times have you been working with others and you've functioned like the spleen? You aren't really contributing much, you're just kind of along for the ride, and the truth is if you dropped out of the group, no one would really notice.
Every group, be it your family, your church, your PTA group, your workplace, or your group of best friends, needs more contributing members; people who are really invested and involved and who give of themselves freely for the good of everyone present.
No offense to the spleen, but the world doesn't need a bunch of spleens. The world needs eyes, ears, arms, legs, hearts, and lungs. The world needs people who are generous with their time, who will listen to others, make time for others, and make other people a priority.
In our selfish, self-absorbed, selfie-addicted society, isn't it refreshing when you meet someone who really shows an interest? Isn't it nice when you talk to someone who looks you in the eye and isn't peeking at their phone every five seconds? Isn't it nice to work alongside people who do what they say they will do and who do it cheerfully?
Just as the church needs functioning members who do their part to keep the whole body running, other situations in your life will call for that kind of commitment and enthusiasm as well.
I wrote "don't be the spleen" on a slip of paper and hung it up on my mirror where I'll see it every day.
It's a great reminder to be sure to give my maximum effort to every situation. If someone asks me to be involved in something that I know I don't really want to do, I politely turn down the request in an effort not to become a spleen.
I'm enthusiastic about the opportunity to become a member of the church and to give generously of my time and talents. I realize that in that endeavor I may never become the heart, but that doesn't mean I need to settle for being a spleen.