Have you noticed that sometimes we focus more on titles than actions? That was the case with the New Orleans Saints player Jimmy Graham. He wanted to receive the franchise tag for a wide receiver, which would have paid him roughly 12 million dollars. Instead, the Saints claimed Graham was a tight end, meaning he would make about 7 million. An arbitrator ruled against Graham. Even though he most often lines up split out, and posts stats comparable with receivers. His Twitter profile said he was a "Tight End," so, the judge ruled he was a tight end.
Sometimes in the church, we also get to defining things simply by titles. We will talk about elders, deacons and preachers, for example, and use these terms (or some other) to define who they are. But, are we doing those works? In I Timothy 3:1, Paul defines the office of an elder as a " fine work." In verse 13 of the same chapter, he speaks of those who have "served well" as deacons. In II Timothy 4:4, he tells Timothy (among other things) to "do the work of an evangelist."
Just because I tell someone I am a farmer does not make me one if I never put a seed in the ground. Just because I tell someone I am President does not make me so if I never spend a day in the Oval Office. Likewise, it is not enough to simply hold a title of elder, deacon, nor preacher. Elders must fulfill the work of being spiritual leaders and shepherding souls in the church. Deacons must faithfully exercise the ministries assigned to them. Preachers must be teaching and preaching the truth of God's word. Just claiming to be an elder, deacon or preacher without doing the work of such, profits neither the church nor the individual any thing!
In response to the ruling against Graham, the Cleveland Browns' own Jordan Cameron, a hybrid player very similar to Graham, changed his twitter profile. It now reads "Pro Bowl pass catcher for the Browns." Not tight end. Though somewhat comical in his approach, his point is a good one for those of us who serve in the church. It is past time that we began to focus on our work more than we do our titles.
(Info about Cameron and Graham from: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/jordan-cameron-isn-t-going-to-lose-a-ton-of-money-because-of-his-twitter-handle-234535360.html)