We all have them in our church, different denominations call them different things, wardens, deacons, whatever, they’re the people who help balance the books, manage the material resources of the conregation, and generally help the entire community by getting organised behind the scenes so we don’t have to.
And in my denomination, the Anglican Church, we get together once a year for our Vestry Meeting/AGM and interrogate them. Hopefully thank them too.
Because that’s what I love about my church wardens. They shoulder a huge responsibility in caring for the budget and buildings, they have endless meetings, heaps of banking and admin to do, basically all the life admin stuff I hate, and they do it voluntarily so that we can all get on with all the other service we have to do. They make their decisions openly, we can talk to them about what’s going on, they’re happy to be questioned, but they do so much that goes unnoticed and unthanked. These people are champions! No wonder one of the first ones ever was stoned to death!
Stephen, the first martyr of the church, was one of the seven deacons appointed to sort out the issue of feeding the widows of the church. Classic admin job. He happened to perform a few miracles on the side, and made the longest speech in the book of Acts, in the Sanhedrin court, which is no surprise really because the qualification for his job was being known to be full of the spirit and wisdom. He could explain and defend his faith, as well as organise a fair system for distribution of resources.
Stephen is the gold star standard for wardens because he was faithful to Jesus and to His word, as well as executing his duties in organising the meal roster. His character and faith shaped his service, he wasn’t just useful at admin.
I’m so thankful to God that my church wardens are like that as well. I don’t want them to be martyred, they make so many sacrifices already to serve our church and therefore our community in this way! But I’m thankful that not only are they great at their voluntary roles, but they’re people of great character and faith as well.
I really want to make sure I thank them more and pray for them more often. I’d encourage you to do the same.