“For as in one body we have many members and not all the members have the same function  . . .” Romans 12:4

People might be surprised to learn that it’s not the publisher who really runs the newspaper, or the reporters, or even the advertising manager.  No, the person REALLY in charge of the newspaper is the production manager–the person in charge of the press.

At the newspaper where I worked, Ken Logan ran the press for 40 years.  Even in his late 60s, Logan made an impressive statement: 6’3″, 250 pounds, and a voice loud enough to stop the presses whenever he heard a sound indiscernible to anyone else–a sound that might mean a bearing going out or a paper roll ready to tear.  Logan demanded attention to detail in the composition of the newspaper, and he demanded the paper be delivered to the pressmen on time, at the deadline, 11 a.m. every Wednesday morning.  No late-breaking news, no computer problems of any snot-nosed, whiny reporter could budge that deadline even a minute past the appointed hour.

Looking at the man in dirty coveralls striding around the office, decades of black ink ground under his fingernails, no one might suppose Logan was the key to the newspaper’s operation.  But Logan knew–it did not matter how stylish the prose of writers, how high the ad men stacked the ads, or how hard the publisher defended freedom of the press–ultimately, all that information got into the hands of the public only because of the talent and skill of the men and women who ran the press.

Legend tells us that the Apostle Paul was a tentmaker–by his own account, Paul tells us he worked with leather.  Regardless of his vocation, we know Paul worked:  “we worked night and day so that we might not burden any of you while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.” (1Thess.2:9)  In Romans 12:1-8, Paul urges the church at Roman to “present your bodies as a living sacrifice . . . which is your spiritual worship.”

Ministry is not about working in programs at a church.  Ministry is about serving God and caring for other people in whatever vocation God has called you to serve.  Some of the greatest ministers I’ve ever known in my life have been housekeeping and laundry department employees at a hospital, working hard and cheerfully to create a clean and comfortable environment for patients.  Some of the best ministers I’ve ever known are teachers who stay later than their required time to help a student learn a concept.  Some of the best ministers I’ve ever known are waitresses who take time to listen to a lonely customer. Some of the best ministers I’ve ever known are retired volunteers who deliver Meals-on-Wheels to the homebound–or pray for others from their beds at the nursing home.

No one person can possess all the skills needed to further Christ’s kingdom in the world.  We are all one body, each with a different job to do.