There are many services that we take for granted. Cell phones, internet service providers, electrical power and other utilities-we don’t like to think about the reliability of these services until something happens. The less visible the service, the better it is. For many patients and physicians, the laboratory is much like this, a black box. Specimens enter and a diagnosis seemingly miraculously emerges. Few patients understand there is a physician, a pathologist, rendering these diagnoses. For most of the healthcare industry, we are invisible. Although most business and physicians do not seek anonymity, if I or my staff do not receive calls from our clients or patients, it is usually a good thing since it means all are receiving their diagnoses on a timely basis with no confusion or concerns about the diagnoses.
Yet, there are times when things go awry and if an error is detected, a patient may receive a delayed diagnosis. I instruct my staff to keep copious paper trails of interactions with all of our vendors and dermatology clients. Hundreds of pages of documents and written protocols are in place which we continually review and compulsively update to be in compliance with federal and state regulations. By doing this, we are assured that we can provide excellent medical care and can quickly isolate the step where a potential issue may have arisen.
We are invisible, but it takes a lot of visible action to get there!
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,
Ephesians 4:11-13 (ESV)
The Body of Jesus Christ, His Church, is very similar. For most churches, all activity comes together in a flurry once a week, usually on a Sunday morning. The parking lot attendants, the greeters at the door, the musicians and choir, the ushers-all are working together to allow the pastor to preach the Word of God. This is the visible activity. The invisible activity is even more important. The great English preacher, Charles Spurgeon, used to ask visitors to his Metropolitan Tabernacle in London if they would like to see the “boiler room” of the church. Escorting the curious, he arrived at a lower level room where hundreds of church members were huddled together, fervently praying for the ministries of the church. Spurgeon pointed at them and proudly declared, “This is the power plant of the church!”
In business, there is a tremendous degree of activity that takes place behind the scenes, not readily visible to the casual observer. We may be lulled into a false sense of security that everything is running on autopilot when in reality, numerous individuals are proactively anticipating problems and making last minute adjustments. The Church is no different. All members may utilize their different gifts helping the members of the church to grow in the grace and knowledge of becoming more like Jesus Christ. But it is in the invisible Church, coordinated by prayer through the power of the Holy Spirit, that is the power plant of all local churches. His invisible presence empowers the visible Church.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.