by David Buffaloe
When a business forgets its business, it's not long before that business goes out of business. Not too long ago one of our local "everything costs a dollar" stores went out of business. Why was that? When I go to another town, the "everything costs a dollar" stores are booming-you can hardly walk down the aisles. Why did our local store go belly up? They forgot what their business was, and stopped selling things for "only a dollar." Suddenly yellow price stickers were placed on every item on every shelf. Though some items were less than a dollar, other items were priced much higher than a dollar. People stopped coming to the store and the store died. They forgot their business.
Sometimes local churches and Christians forget what their business is, too. As a pastor I field many calls from people looking for bus tickets, money for rent, or for food. Churches can and do provide "hand-ups" to those who are genuinely in need, but we always do so with the view of bringing people to a right relationship with God and His church. A church is not a lending institution, a food bank, a political headquarters, an entertainment center, a fast food restaurant, a ticket-provider, nor a Christmas tree. A local church is a community of faith, a branch family of the Children of God. A local church is a Body of Christ, believers together serving the Lord Jesus Christ.
Do you know your business? If you are a Christian then the Lord Jesus Christ has given you a job to do. As a united Body of Christians-the local church-you have a collective duty before the Lord.
Though the church may do many things, and have many activities, its primary business is to lovingly serve the Lord Jesus Christ, and in so doing be a light in a dark sin-cloaked world. We are to be the children of our heavenly Father, following the pattern that our Savior has placed before us.
We are the candlestick in Christ's hand. We must serve Him by loving one another and by telling others about this glorious gospel of salvation. The church that tends to its business will grow in influence and members. The church that forgets its business will in time dwindle and die.
Love one another. Follow Jesus. Do the things that He commands you to do. Be the children of your heavenly Father. Tend to your business, dear Christian, and live for Him.
David Buffaloe pastors Rock Hill Baptist Church in Lexington, TN.