Doing Maintenance Well
We all know the importance of maintenance. If we don’t maintain a house by cleaning it, painting it, and repairing it, it will self-destruct. If we don’t maintain an automobile properly by changing its fluids and driving it, it will also fall apart.
If we don’t maintain our physical bodies by healthy living, eating properly, exercising and good rest, our bodies will deteriorate and we will have poor health and die prematurely.
When it comes to the Lord’s church with her accompanying/accommodating needs, the same could be said. If elders don’t keep up with the sheep (a maintenance issue), the sheep will scatter. If we don’t keep up with members who need encouragement, they will fall away. If we don’t keep the church building clean, prepare the Lord’s Supper, provide childcare, pay the bills, greet people, have good Bible classes and provide a proper atmosphere for learning and growth, the church will die a slow certain death. “Maintenance” issues have been downplayed for far too long in the church; it is time to recognize the importance of maintenance well done.
Yes, we need to move beyond such things and be ‘missional’ churches: in other words, if all we do is basic maintenance and we don’t evangelize, the church will cease to exist and its doors will close. However, I’m addressing the issue of doing maintenance well. Why should it be done well?
Jesus did all things well; we emulate Him by doing the same. I was always taught to do and be my best. Jesus did. When it comes to maintenance in the church, it should be done first class because our efforts represent the Lord who deserves and commands the best and it is a reflection upon Jesus. Anything worth doing is worth doing well—and this is true of maintenance.
Without good maintenance you cannot fulfill the mission of the church. Let’s assume that winning souls (evangelism) is not maintenance. Without good maintenance, there is an absence of a good (conducive or pleasant) atmosphere for numerical (and spiritual) growth in the church. Improper maintenance can create an awkward and uncomfortable atmosphere that impedes or discourages growth. Those who have been members of a local church take for granted the parking and the interior (in some cases, interiors are dirty and dated) of a building. Guests do not. They want good parking, clean rest rooms and attractive surroundings for themselves and their family members. Our guests should expect certain things. You cannot grow a church where there is lack of preparation and confusion. I know the gospel is the most important thing. However, maintenance well done contributes to the growth and welfare of the local church.
God has placed gifted people in maintenance roles and it should not be considered as trivial. Most of our ministries are maintenance and they are designed to accommodate members. The folks that run those ministries are spiritual people who are using their God-given spiritual gifts, life experiences and skills and passions to serve. Maintenance thus provides many good opportunities to use God’s gifts. This is important in God’s sight.
What am I saying? Don’t down play ‘maintenance’ in your congregation. You cannot function and grow without it. Yes, you need to do more than just ‘maintain’ what you have. However, you may not grow spiritually and numerically without maintenance well done.
Travis Irwin, Athens, TN