I spend an enormous amount of time in the Church building. As a result, I use the refrigerator located there for personal and professional uses. Through the years I have developed a statement that I repeat when it comes to this one appliance. I tell people, “Anything in the Church fridge is community property.”
Throughout my ministry, I would leave food, soda and bottled water inside the refrigerator to keep it cool during the week. Repeatedly I would go back to find food missing and the drinks are almost always gone. In an effort to protect my stuff I took a permanent marker and put my name on items. While it slowed them being taken it did not stop the removal of anything people found. One Sunday morning I looked up to see a woman singing on the stage with a bottle of water with my name clearly on the side. “Anything in the Church fridge is community property.”
At first, all of this upset me, and I thought, I cannot buy enough food and drinks for the whole Church every Sunday. Then it began to humor me. It was a game of who will take the food this week. Recently I have decided that the stupid refrigerator is a symbol of what it means to be a Church. We are a community of people who belong to one another. The Church is one big family who lives together as one. Sure, anything in the fridge is community property in the same way anything in mine at home is fair game to anyone who visits me. The Church is more than a building or a collection of people who share similar beliefs; we are a community of people connected through Jesus. If you don’t believe me, try leaving some bottles of water in the fridge.