Wanted: Dependable Workers

As they began a new job that would take one year to complete, the foreman of the construction crew said to them: "Men, we are starting with fifty workers. Only twenty of you will stay long enough to complete the job. Of those twenty who finish, only ten will really do their job well. These are the statistics I deal with on every job. Under which category do you fit? (1) You start the job, but never finish (2) You stay to the end, but you tend to get sloppy as time goes by (3) You finish the job well."

In the assemblies today, there is a desperate need for young men and women who are willing to dedicate themselves to the local work of the assembly. There is a need, not only to start to serve, but to stay with it until it is finished and to be responsible to do it well. If you ever worked at constructing or putting together anything, whether in the workshop or in the kitchen, there are some important guidelines that are followed to make it a job well done.

1. ATTENDANCE. I cannot do any job if I am not there. Sometimes the hardest part of a job is just to get there on time. Some never really get to be helpers in the local assembly because they are missing so often that they do not even know what the needs are. Paul said of Demas, "He has forsaken me, having loved this present world..." (2 Tim 4:10). Demas would have explained it differently. He would have given many good reasons as to why he was not there when he was needed. But the truth is, he had other interests in this world that came before the work of the Lord and he was not there when he was needed.

2. ATTITUDE. A bad attitude makes any job difficult and usually results in doing the job carelessly, showing disregard and irresponsibility toward its completion. "For God is not unrighteous to forget or overlook your labor and the love which you have shown for His name’s sake in ministering to the needs of the saints" (Heb. 6:10). When love is the motivating factor in any service in the assembly, it brings about an attitude that is pleasing to God and an atmosphere that unites the children of God. Many cease in their service in the assembly because they are not appreciated, thanked, or complimented. If we are looking to God for reward, and not to man, this attitude will prevail even under criticism.

3. INGREDIENTS. The materials that are used make a big difference when the job is finished. The best cook cannot get good results if the ingredients are faulty. The work of a bricklayer will not last long if the bricks are crumbling. Our service needs to be conformed to the patterns and truth presented in the Holy Scriptures. The saints in the early church steadfastly persevered because they devoted themselves constantly "to the instruction of the apostles" (Acts 2:42). We no longer have apostles to instruct us, but we have their inspired instructions preserved for us in the Word of God. We serve best when we are submitting ourselves daily to the instructions of God’s Word.

4. WORKMANSHIP. The experience of the workman is reflected in the results of the work. It is necessary to be an apprentice before becoming a journeyman or skilled worker. Practice and instruction ought always to precede the final performance of a task. Through the years, God disciplines and trains his servants through experience. These experienced workers should be teaching the younger workers. For a job to be done well, it needs to be done in the right way. "And the instructions which you have heard from me, along with many witnesses, transmit and entrust as a deposit to reliable and faithful men who will be competent and qualified to teach others also" (2 Tim. 2:2). When seeking to serve the assembly, it is important to seek the advice of older and experienced servants of God.

5. TIME. Every well done job takes time. Whenever we are in a hurry, the job suffers in some way. If the job is important then it deserves to be appropriated the proper time to complete it satisfactorily. Too often the labors in an assembly receive a low priority in our schedule; consequently, they are done hurriedly and carelessly. In fact, they are often done at the very last minute. Any service worth doing requires patience and longsuffering. The very word "patience" denotes a period of time. If our schedule is overcrowded with things other than the assembly, we obviously cannot be good servants of the assembly. "See how the farmer waits expectantly for the precious harvest from the land…So you also must be patient" (Jam. 5:7,8)