After a minute or two of consideration I suddenly wondered what would happen if we all worked for our bosses the way we work for the Lord. I think Paul might need to change his admonition a bit for our culture in our time. Why? Because I have seen elders and deacons need to flatter, cajole, and coerce Christians into doing things as simple and comfortable as getting into an air-conditioned car to ride to an air-conditioned building and sit on a padded pew for a couple of hours. I have seen them beg people to help with the teaching program. I have seen them squirm uncomfortably when they need to remind people over and over of the things they promised to do a week ago, a month ago, even a year ago.
If we all worked for our bosses the same way we do the Lord’s work, would we ever receive a promotion? Would we ever get a raise? Or would we be fired for cause? It looks like we care far more about a monetary paycheck than we do about eternal life. I see too many people giving as little effort as possible, refusing to go the extra mile in terms of study and service, and working only when they are forced into it instead of actively looking for things that need doing, whether they are asked to do them or not, to believe otherwise.
If the sick and needy are left uncared for, if the classes seem boring, if the church is shrinking and the next generation is falling by the wayside, we are not working heartily for the Lord. That passage was written to us all, not preachers and elders. What makes us think we will receive any sort of reward if an earthly boss would fire us for the same quality of work?
But beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak; for God is not unrighteous to forget your work and the love which you showed toward his name, in that you ministered unto the saints, and still do minister. And we desire that each one of you may show the same diligence to the fullness of hope even to the end, that you be not sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises, Heb 6: 9-12.