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TOPIC: The Church Worker

TEXT: Numbers 11:10-17, 24-30 

Introduction: The church ministries are increasingly being filled with people full of complaints, ingratitude, indifferent spirits and innumerable diverse desires and expectations. These attitudes can bring untold frustrations, bitterness and devastation into a leader’s life. These can in turn lead to a situation wherein a leader prefers death to life. This can be evidently seen in the life of Moses, one of Israel’s most renowned leaders (Numbers 11:10-15). 

I. The Origin Of The Concept Of Church Workers. The concept of church workers originated first from a leader’s complaint of the work being too burdensome (Numbers 11:14 NASB) and second from God’s responsive promise that leaders will not have to bear the burden of the work all alone (Numbers 11:17). 

II. Who Is A Church Worker? This question is inevitably crucial in a generation like ours. Our definition of who is a church worker is based on the teachings of the Bible. Biblically, a church worker is the following: 

• A church worker is a helping hand to the church leader - Numbers 11:17.

• A church worker is a person called to help share the leader’s burdens (responsibilities) - Numbers 11:17.

• A church worker is a person who can stand before the Lord’s presence - Numbers 11:17,24.

• A church worker is a person who can be possessed (filled) and controlled by the Spirit, that is, he / she leads a yielded life - Numbers 11:17,25.

• A church worker must have the same spirit as the leaders - Numbers 11:17,25.

• A church worker must be a follower of the leader - Numbers 11:16,30; Mark 3:14.

• A church worker must be responsible to the leader - Numbers 11:24,26-28; Mark 3:13. 

III. Why Church Workers? There are specific reasons stated in the Bible why we need workers in the church. These reasons must be fully comprehended so as not to believe that the concept of church workers is a human idea meant to drag church members into jobs that are not meant for them and that they will eventually not be rewarded for as only a few are actually paid in this business. Below are the biblical reasons why we need workers in the church. 

• The church needs workers because the church is a body. There are two unique things about a body. First, a body has many members (1 Corinthians 12:12,14,20,27). Second, every member of a body contributes to the healthy growth of the body (Ephesians 4:16).

• The church needs workers because the church is God’s visible manifestation of His kingdom and every kingdom needs representation in life – 2 Corinthians 5:20; 8:23.

• The church needs workers because the church as a local assembly has vision and every living vision must be shared with others – Habakkuk 2:2; Isaiah 29:11-12; Psalm 68:11.

• The church needs workers because the work is more than a person can execute – Exodus 18:13-18.

• The church needs workers because the work needs more participation to be successfully completed – Numbers 3:1-9; Matthew 9:36-38.

• The church needs workers because Jesus Christ - the head of the church designed and commenced this work as a teamwork – Mark 3:13-19; Luke 9:1-2; 10:1-2.

• The church needs workers because the early apostles started and grew the church with workers – Acts 6:1-7; 14:21-23. The Apostle Paul also called certain individuals as fellow workers (Romans 16:3; Philippians 4:3; Philemon 23-24). 

IV. The Prerequisites For Becoming A Church Worker. These prerequisites are the fundamental requirements for becoming a church worker. These are also general in the sense that certain jobs in the church require higher criteria in addition to qualify one for such jobs. But on the overall, these are fundamentally mandatory for all church workers. Below are the prerequisites: 

• You must be a true follower of Jesus Christ – Luke 9:57-60.

• You must not be a new convert – 1 Timothy 3:6 cf Acts 1:21-22.

• You must be God fearing – Exodus 18:21 cf Proverbs 8:13; 1 Samuel 8:1-3.

• You must have a good reputation and testimony both within and without the church – Acts 6:3; 16:1-3; 1 Timothy 3:7.

• You must have a compelling love for God and His work – 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; John 21:15-17.

• You must be chosen and accepted by the church leadership – Acts 6:5-6; 13:1-3; 15:24-25.

• You must be willing to serve both the church leadership and membership – Mark 10:42-45; Luke 9:61-62.

• You must be willing to risk your life for the work – Acts 15:25-26; Romans 16:3-4. 

V. The Duties Of Church Workers. The duties of every church worker are both vertical and horizontal. Vertically, every church worker’s duties are toward God (1 Corinthians 4:1). Horizontally, every church worker’s duties are toward the church visible, human leadership and membership (2 Corinthians 4:5). On both fronts, every church worker is required to be faithful (1 Corinthians 4:2). 

Vertically, every church worker is to maintain a vibrant walk or relationship with Jesus Christ – the head of the church through a personal devotion of prayer and the study of the Bible. This will enable him/her develop a receptive heart and listening ear to receive the needed strength to accomplish his/her assigned task. The success of every church worker on his/her job is determined by his/her ability to maintain this most vital relationship. Once any church worker can’t maintain this vital relationship with the head Christ, failure on the job is inevitable. Jesus commands every church worker: “Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine and you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:4-5 NKJV). Remember the order is that, Jesus Christ called to himself those he wanted and then appointed them that they might be with him first before he can then send them out to work for him (Mark 3:13-15). Only church workers who have been with Jesus can actually be effective and efficient on their jobs (Acts 4:13). 

Horizontally, every church worker owes it to the church leadership and membership to be committed and faithful to his/her assigned duties. Normally, the actual duties of any church worker have to be spelled out in a job description based on the nature of such work. Unfortunately, most works in the church lack value jobs descriptions. This makes it very difficult for church workers to do personal self-assessment and also for most church workers to be objectively assessed based on the set goals and objectives of the church. Where jobs descriptions are lacking, especially for key leaders of most church departments, I advise that immediate and urgent steps be taken to implement such as these will inject dynamism into the system. In both the Old and New Testaments, the jobs of most appointed leaders in the kingdom of God are explicitly described for our learning. For instance, the jobs of the leaders of thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens in Exodus 18 are clearly spelled out in Exodus 18:20-22,25; the duties of the priests and Levites are also clearly spelled out in Numbers 3:1-4:49 and others; while the duties of the first church deacons were explicitly spelled out in Acts 6:1-4. In like manner, when Jesus sent out his disciples to the lost sheep of Israel, he gave them a description of their job (Matthew 10:5-15). Personal and collective success is seldom realized in churches where jobs descriptions are in the minds of individuals. 

Nevertheless, every church worker owes the following duties to the church leadership and membership. 

• Wholehearted devotion to the church vision and mission – 1 Chronicles 12:16-18,38; 2 Chronicles 25:2.

• To be punctual and regular at his/her duty post – Romans 12:11-12; 1 Samuel 20:24-29.

• To be encouragement to the church leadership and membership – Numbers 13:26-33; 14:36-38; 2 Timothy 1:16-18 cf 4:14-17.

• To be sensitive to the leader’s needs and responsive to the leader’s call – Exodus 17:8-13; 2 Samuel 23:13-17.

• To be committed financially to the work – Matthew 6:21; 19:27-30. This is an inevitable test of every true and committed church worker. Persons who cannot commit their finances into the work are unfit to be church workers. They can’t be trusted with great responsibilities in the church (Luke 16:10-11).

Video The Role of A Deacon by Pastor Steve