We’ve all seen the monumental stone heads of the famous half-buried statues on Easter Island. But have you ever seen them move? It seems impossible, doesn’t it? Yet they didn’t arrive at their final destinations by magic. So how did they get there?
As it turns out, they got there by walking.
That’s right, archaeologists have arrived at a consensus theory that the islanders actually “walked” these massive edifices from the quarries where they were carved to their final destination by using ropes and teams of workers to rock them from side to side, slowly moving them inch by inch across the island. All it took was a few ropes and a few dozen people working together, and something that seems impossible was made possible.
That got me thinking. There are so many tasks in our churches today that can seem the same way. To one person, they’re overwhelming. Taking on the planning, coordination, and execution of events and programs can seem like staring at a massive, Easter Island-sized statue, and being told to move it. That can seem impossible! Yet Paul reminds us in the book of Galatians: “Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9 NIV).
More than anyone, Paul understood the persistence it often takes in ministry to see any results. He knew that it is imperative to keep going through the setbacks that are often inevitable in carrying out the work of Christ. But he knows and trusts in the continuing ministry of Jesus by his Spirit. He understands that the ministry of the church is really “joining in with Jesus” in what Jesus is doing. And so, out of faith in Christ’s faithfulness, he follows the lead of the Spirit and remains faithful to the task set before him—preaching the gospel of Jesus for all to hear.
As a member of the Body of Christ, he also knew that we can’t “go it alone” when it comes to sharing in the ongoing ministry of Christ. The weariness he talks about kicks in much more quickly if we do. That’s why it’s such a blessing that we are all members of one Body. Just like moving a statue across Easter Island, the impossible becomes possible through the teamwork and cooperation of many helping hands. That’s how the Body of Christ works, and it’s how our churches should work, too.
So the next time you’re facing an “immovable statue” of a task, don’t just stand there staring at it. Grab some ropes and a few friends, and make that statue walk!
I’m Joseph Tkach, speaking of LIFE.