What would you say to the Church that hires unbelievers to provide a service to the local Church body? I was recently challenged by this very question. I know that many would have a hard time knowing that the Church would in fact hire an unbeliever. Don’t get me wrong we wouldn’t want an unbeliever running the discipleship at our Church, making decisions on the Church’s strategic plan, overseeing Church ministries just as God didn’t allow the gentile to be priest. But say for instance the church hires an unbeliever to provide a food service, operate a cash register, a security guard, parking attendant, etc. Many of you might say that those are still crucial to the Church’s function and only believers should occupy those roles. There could be a lot of what if scenarios, but hopefully looking at some Old Testament scriptures might shed some light on how mission critical this might be.
When we consider the children of Israel and their role toward other nations we see that not only did the Children of Israel benefit from God’s choosing but also the alien, the foreigner, and sojourner. God’s choosing came with some great benefits, for example the Sabbath day was to be enjoyed as a day of REST. The “shemitta” law, from the Hebrew word “release” was a time of releasing debts, freeing of slaves (slaves were primarily aliens that were providing a service, but only the Israelite slaves were freed during this time), and lastly the year of Jubilee which not only released debts, freed slaves, and many times if the Israelite so chooses could release lands that were once occupied by the children of Israel to the foreigner (Deut 15:1-2, Lev 25:8-55) . You see! Not only did God’s people benefit from God’s character, but all of those who came in contact with His people. God’s plan was for all other peoples, and nations to see and experience His character through the children of Israel and by this be drawn to His Grace, His Laws, and His plan for reconciliation.
At the Rock Church we have seen the unbeliever while providing services be drawn to the Lord’s plan of salvation, repent and have a personal relationship with his/her creator. Just as the children of Israel welcomed the alien, and the foreigner (to provide services) and sojourner into their congregation to experience God’s great love we too should embrace the potential of one unbeliever (who would provide a service) to experience God’s love within our congregation.