The deer, birds and squirrels weren’t enough wildlife for my mom and dad, evidently. Now the creek behind their house is a duck habitat. With the waterways full again, ducks seem to have found their way to the Texas Hill Country again. (Calm down, all you hunters out there; my mom’s back porch is a strict no-hunting zone.)
Ducks have long served as a metaphor for certain people’s behavior. On the surface they seem to be at complete peace; beneath the water’s surface, though, they are a flurry of unseen activity.
I think churches are a lot like that, too. The average member — somewhat stable in attendance, somewhat lax in activity — is lulled into complacency by the seemingly effortless way the church functions. In truth, they just don’t have a very good insight into the actual goings-on. The elders are meeting with morally compromised teens. The preacher is counseling a couple on the verge of divorce. Three couples are conducting home Bible studies with friends and recent converts. Deacons are smoothly slipping “volunteers” into the various slots for public service.
The efficiency of the machine is no excuse for various parts leaving themselves out, though. It can always run cleaner, quicker, and quieter. “What every joint supplies” (Ephesians 4:16) is the key to the body’s success. More to the point, each individual part is required to work; or else, why be in the body at all?
“The church doesn’t need me,” says the inactive Christian. Well, if you mean we’ll get on fine without you, I’m sure that’s true. But we get on better with you. And you with us. So get in the water and start paddling. You’ll catch on soon enough.