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I’m not a builder. I now wish I had been, at least to some extent. I suppose I could’ve been, had I listened to my father a little more when he tried to teach me about carpentry, but I was too busy pursuing my junior high and high school baseball careers, which yielded little in the grand scheme of my life.

But, enough about the past. I do know a little bit about pillars, those vitally important support structures for buildings. I have been in a number of high-rise office buildings in downtown Chicago and have seen the massive columns as I walked through the lobbies. Without those supports, it would be impossible to build a Sears Tower or Hancock building.

What may strike you as you walk through one of those places and see those enormous pillars is how beautiful they are made to look on the inside. However, whatever kind of decorations are placed on those pillars to beautify them, the beauty of their function is not how ornate an interior decorator can cause them to be. Their beauty lies in the fact that they are holding up an entire building without any sound of stress. I would think twice about walking into a building where I heard the columns begin to creak and crack underneath the stress of that major structure. In fact, I think most of us would likely turn around and walk out the door getting as far away from the building as possible.

I was reminded a little while back about how essential it is to have pillars (spiritual pillars) in the local church. I battled illness for two days, and had to call upon a few people to help fill in the areas of responsibility that are generally mine to fulfill. These are the people that hold the whole thing together, or I should say, they hold it up so it doesn’t fall down. It is the strength of their faithfulness and their willingness to keep things moving forward in moments of minor crises that caused me as the pastor be grateful that I have a few pillars around upholding and supporting the ministry of our church.

So how is a pillar characterized in the local church?
  • First and foremost, a pillar must be spiritual. Since the ministry of Christ was a spiritual ministry, our ministry in and to the local church must first be a spiritual ministry which meets the spiritual needs of those in attendance.
  • Secondly, a pillar must be strong. The strength of a pillar is vital to the success of the local church. In times of storm and stress, their strength shows through.
  • Lastly, a pillar must be supportive. A pillar within the church, doesn’t seek leadership, but doesn’t shy away from it when called upon. The person carries out an important support role.
These three essential qualities of individuals within the local church will help the church to grow as it should.