The breathtaking story of Jeanne Assam’s quick termination of the massacre at New Life Church illustrates something that most people–Christian and non-Christian alike–don’t think about, and that’s the vital role of support personnel in the life of any church or parachurch organisation. The people "up front"–pastors, preachers, music leaders and the like–get all of the attention and visibility, to say nothing of their portion of the compensation. But for anyone who has worked in a church or ministry, those who labour in supporting roles–secretaries, maintenance personnel, security guards, sound and media people, and others–are just as vital as those with the visible roles, and in situations such as Assam faced more so.
Most of these people work at below market rates. For some, their position is their vocation; for others, it is a transition to other ministry that God has called them to do. After they are done at their paid position, most volunteer in other roles in the church. Assam’s work as a security guard was just that: a volunteer role on top of her work for the Beveres. In any case they bring their God-given talents and abilities, along with their training, to God’s work. Examples like this only underscore the importance of everyone whom God has placed in the body of Christ to carry out the work he has set us to do:
“For, just as in the human body there is a union of many parts, and each part has its own function, So we, by our union in Christ, many though we are, form but one body, and individually we are related one to another as its parts. Since our gifts differ in accordance with the particular charge entrusted to us, if our gift is to preach, let our preaching correspond to our faith; If it is to minister to others, let us devote ourselves to our ministry; the teacher to his teaching, The speaker to his exhortation. Let the man who gives in charity do so with a generous heart; let him who is in authority exercise due diligence; let him who shows kindness do so in a cheerful spirit.” (Romans 12:4-8)
If there is a spiritual lesson from this, it is that there are no unimportant people in God’s kingdom.
Was It A Hate Crime?
One additional thought about this comes out in the following:
Earlier Monday, a law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity said it appeared Murray "hated Christians."
Had Assam not taken Murray (the shooter) out, could any "hate crime" statute (I’m don’t know if Colorado has such, but many states do) been applied to this? The better question is, would it have been applied?
I’ve bloviated on this subject before, and frankly I’m glad we didn’t have to find out.