Labor Day, and the weeks that follow, can be a creative opportunity for ministry in new church starts. A planter friend of mine encourages people, on or around Labor Day weekend, to dress in their work attire and bring something representing their work to place on or near the altar as an act of committing themselves to serving the Lord in whatever they have been tasked to do. The pastor prays over the items that are brought forward, asking God to empower the people who brought them to live more fully as disciples of Jesus in their workplace.
Another church I know invites members of the community (e.g. teachers, police, firemen, medical personnel and other types of public servants) to worship so as to honor them with a gift, pray for them, and express gratitude for their labor. These guests are often pleasantly surprised that a church – one they do not attend – would extend such hospitality and grace.
It’s important to remind ourselves and others that the work we do (whether it is “official” ministry or otherwise), when done in the name of Jesus, makes all the difference for the community and world in which we live.
I encourage you to find more energy and support for your Kingdom labor by participating in Path 1’s Innovation Forum, coming up October 19-21 in Nashville. Designed especially for planters and planting teams, this is a great opportunity to gain new ideas, network with peers and find the space you need to explore topics that may meet your greatest interest and need.
I personally want to say “thank you” for your labor in ministry. You have one of the most exciting, and at times exhausting, ministries there is! Words of “thanks” and “good job” are sometimes few and far between. Let me encourage you with one of my life verses:
“So, let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up!” Galatians 6:9 (NLT).
This Labor Day, may you find the rest you need to take the next step forward in your own faith journey. May God grant you everything you need to labor in love for the Kingdom!