Should lay people dedicate any less time to THEIR job? If a Pastor spends 16hrs “pastoring” while you spend 8hrs on your work and 8hrs in church, guess who’ll end up being mediocre? Internal conflict arises when you get caught in the God vs. Mammon debate. You keep spending more time in church to please God and to prove you care more about him than your “worldly” pursuits. And, as long as you don’t see your work as service to God, you’ll remain conflicted.
I’m reminded of a scripture that says: “Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men”, the key word being “whatever”. I believe the crucial thing is to discover what God has called you to and then you can channel your energy and time appropriately. I acknowledge that some people are called to church-based ministry. Others are terrific at multitasking. But for some, God needs them primarily in the marketplace or in Government. And above all, he needs them in their families. You can tell a person’s priority when he/she chooses a church function over spending time with a loved one. If God needs you in the marketplace, yet you spend all your time in church, how will you achieve mastery? If your work doesn’t give you purpose; if you don’t feel like you serve God through it and you need to make up for your guilty conscience through church activities, then perhaps you should take another look at what you do.
I’m all for volunteerism, but not at the expense of calling. That’s tantamount to leaving your place of purpose. If God has called you to Government, you’ll be leaving your place to go sweep in church. You will achieve more for the kingdom by developing sound policies for the nation than keeping church chairs clean. If God wants you to get an MBA, but instead of reading on Saturdays, you prefer to attend choir practice, you’re just kidding around. When you fail, you turn around to ask what happened to the ‘favour of the Lord’? You deserve a resounding knock on the head.
The principle of Love Languages applies to God. You have to first understand him then love him the way HE wants not how YOU prefer. What has HE called you to do? Where has HE placed you? Once you understand this, you’ll stop feeling guilty about church activities. And really, church cannot approbate and reprobate at the same time. They cannot want the benefit of my tithe or brain on committees yet mock the time and effort it requires to acquire same. If I spent all my time at choir practice, there’ll be no tithe. Let the fruits of your calling serve you in church and the community. Whether it’s your training, pedigree, hard work, time or money. That’s your treasure. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be.