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Renter or Owner?

Think about a renter of a house. They may have some pride in their house, and treat it well. But when things go wrong in the house, it’s not their problem. It’s up to the owner to fix the house.

Some Christians treat their church like they are renters. They volunteer, but are unreliable. They show up to church, but don’t give.

We think Christians should view themselves as owners of the church. Owners are driven by the church’s mission and duty. But owners also have a strong sense of responsibility. An owner will do whatever it takes to see the organization succeed, even if they need to do things outside their job description.

Owners Take Initiative

An owner sees what needs to be done and takes decisive action. An owner doesn’t wait to fix a problem until they are told to do it. An owner doesn’t say, “That’s not my job.” They make it their responsibility to help. They are always on the look out to make things better at church, and to help people pursue God.

At church, this means that you will probably find yourself doing things outside your ministry job description. For example, if you are on a worship team, and you see trash overflowing in the lobby, do something about it. If you are a kids church teacher and you can tell that someone at your church is new and unsure about where to go, help them out. If you are a greeter and you can tell that a kids church worker has their hands full transporting crafts, help them.

These little acts are acts of ownership. Remember, your ultimate job is to honor God by helping people pursue God. Take the initiative to help in any way you can.

Owners Work Hard

If you are an owner, you work hard. You have no choice. If you don’t work hard, your business will die. In a church, you work hard because you realize the health of the church is your personal responsibility. It’s not just up to the pastors and ministry leaders. Making the church run well is everyone’s job.

Romans 12:11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.

An owner does their work with excellence and energy. An owner shows up on time and is prepared. An owner serves at church with their best effort because they understand that they are working for the Lord.

Owners are Humble

You might think that the image of an owner isn’t helpful for the church because business owners tend to be bossy, and even arrogant after they’ve experienced some success. This isn’t the picture of an owner that we have in mind.

An owner in a church understands their role. They understand that they have a God-given responsibility to serve others and be others focused.

Philippians 2:3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.

We aren’t serving in church to make ourselves look good. We are focused on meeting the needs of others.

Galatians 5:13 Use your freedom to serve one another in love.

Owners realize that they are free in Christ to serve the needs of others, to serve the church, and to serve their communities. This is all done through love, which is never bossy or arrogant, but only works for the good of others.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
  2. What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
  3. Have you ever been a part of a team or project that accomplished something great?  Why did you enjoy being part of that team or project?   
  4. Describe the differences between renters and owners.
  5. Share some examples of when you have taken initiative at work or when you were part of a team of people.
  6. Read Romans 12:11. How does knowing that you are serving the Lord affect the way you serve at church?
  7. Read Philippians 2:3 How will you know when you have the right attitude while serving at church?
  8. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

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