Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean,
but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox. Proverbs 14:4 ESV
Here, the point is simple: life is easier without the oxen.
Why? The manger is clean.
In ministry, there’s constantly a temptation to get rid of the oxen.
- “We could spend the extra $500 and get a better quality guitar amp, but it’s just for the student ministry anyway…”
- “We could keep setting up the booth in the lobby, but it’s such a hassle every week…”
- “We could do ALL of that for the event like last year, but it’s so hard rallying people to tear it down afterwards…”
You can insert your own: “We could _______________________, but…”
Our tendency is to make decisions that get rid of the oxen so that there’s less clean up time.
But what’s the catch? You need the oxen in order to have abundant crops.
You’re right. The ox isn’t necessary. You can accomplish whatever project without it. You can produce crops either way.
But you can’t produce abundant crops… you can’t have excellence… without the oxen.
What’s the ox in your ministry? What’s the thing you’re tempted to STOP just because it’s more work on you?
Don’t stop. Keep the oxen. You’ll sacrifice abundant crops. You’ll compromise excellence.