I went to the same church my whole life from birth to 16 and never once did I participate in cleaning the church. I don’t even know who cleaned the church. Honestly, I never even thought about it. But it was always clean, and it wasn’t a small church. So incase you are the person or persons that cleaned my church, thank you for your service! Thank you for helping to create a clutter-free and clean place of worship for me.
As an adult, I have had the opportunity to learn about the structure in other churches, and I was taken aback at the number of churches that pay someone to clean their church (not to mention having paid non-pastoral ministry). We are passing up a blessing when we do not take care of God’s house out of devotion and personal sacrifice.
Doing The Dirty Work
No one likes to clean the toilet, but everyone likes to sit on a clean toilet. One thing that I practice, whether I’m at Wal-Mart or at church, is if I walk into a stall and the toilet is not flushed, I don’t just say “Ewwww!” and shut the door and go find a clean toilet. I flush the toilet, and if necessary, I get soap and paper towels and I clean the toilet seat. And, of course, I make sure that the toilet is clean for the next person. If it’s beyond my scope, I inform the service desk. But your church should not have a service desk. If something needs to be done, then YOU need to do it. Why pass the buck? Especially when it comes to God’s house.
Your church may have a weekly cleaning rotation that other people share. It may have someone that they pay. It may be that the pastor is having to clean the church. Whatever the situation, I would just ask that you give this some prayerful consideration. Humble yourself. Clean a toilet. Throw away the snotrags left on the pews. Empty the trashcan. Pick up the dead bug. Pick up the trash in the yard. At the very least, clean up your own mess. After all, isn’t that what you teach your children?
While you’re getting your own house clean and organized for the new year, share some of that time doing the same for God’s house. Put in your earbuds, fill your heart with worship music, and scrub, scrub, scrub that toilet! Be thankful that you have indoor plumbing and running water and church that you can go to that has a toilet to scrub!
Worship While You Work
Is the worship in your church dead? Can you make a parallel between the work ethic of the church body and the worship of the church body? Yes, it’s easier to just give money. It’s easier to just pay someone else to do the dirty work. But, oh, the blessing that comes from giving of yourself! Some of my best times of peace have been while cleaning the church house, while doing the work that no one else wants to do.
Notice how cleaning involves the same movements as worship? Sometimes you’re down on your knees. Sometimes your hands are high and lifted up. There’s also a parallel to repentance: a lot of the times you have to go where you just don’t want to go and do some long-needed deep-down cleaning that you don’t want to do but you’re always so glad you did after it’s done. Just something to think about.
You could always follow along with Joyful Mothering and participate in the 31 Days to Clean.
A support group is always helpful!
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