I've just returned from London and Bucharest, Romania on a mission trip with our church's high school choir. Sounds simple, but there were over 300 of us who made the trek. Ever tried to plan for 300 to fly between three countries and arrive on the same days? What a feat!
In some of the more remote areas of our trip, our students had a tiny taste of celebrity status. I pray any aftertaste is removed by a more flavorful mouth of praise for our God. Today's culture promotes fame and fortune. Become an “American Idol“, a professional athlete, a Hollywood superstar! This is what we teach our children, either directly or indirectly, that the stage and fame are paramount. But not all are destined for stardom.
Proverbs 22:6 says we are to train up a child in the way he should go. We usually understand this verse as referring to disciplining a child in the proper way, the moral way, the Christian way. But in looking at the Hebrew text we see that the meaning is not to discipline a child, but to dedicate a child in the course of life he should follow. Certainly we are to teach our children God's laws as the general course of life. But we are also to set them out in a specific direction suitable for them. Being “front and center” isn't God's plan for everyone.
If it were so, then our mission trip would never have occurred. We would not have had the administrative assistant who carefully planned every aspect of the trip, or the transportation coordinator who organized all the travel details, or the costume maker who lovingly labeled each student's five t-shirts, two to three pairs of shorts and semi-formal concert outfit.
1 Corinthians 12 teaches us about the body of Christ, that is, the church. We are not all designed to be the loudmouths of the body. Some of us are meant to be the listening ears. Some are the feet that will go to faraway places, and some are called to stay home and devote their hearts to prayer. I am so thankful for my Twitter friends who were covering us in prayer while we were on our journey. No part of the body is a lesser part. But some are lesser noticed, and sadly, even lesser appreciated.
Today, I am reminded of God's beautiful design for our interdependent lives. God never intended man to be alone. When he made Eve, the Bible teaches he made another for Adam who was suitable to help and complement him, so that together they could be of greater benefit. This is His design for the church also, and for mankind as a whole.
This week I saw many future administrative assistants and creative consultants who will be excellent behind the scenes someday. While it was an awesome opportunity for all of these students to experience the joy of leading others in worship, they will not all continue to lead from the stage. Most will lead from behind the curtains. We would be wise to elevate these equally influential and important roles in the minds of our young people, so that the future of the body of Christ is not all talk and no action.