According to Wikipedia a jobsworth is a person who uses his for her job description in a deliberately uncooperative way, or who delights in acting in an obstructive or unhelpful manner. Sometimes I have used term “gatekeeper mentality” to describe this irritating attitude.
Last week we travelled with a group of young people from Evangel to northern Michigan to assist a small church in conducting a Vacation Bible School. One evening we grabbed some flyers and gathered the team into a van to canvass a small trailer park to invite children to VBS. We arrived and made a few visits when a woman drove up and ordered us to leave. It was a very small, humble park with a few trailers. We were conducting ourselves in a very friendly and courteous manner. We were only visiting homes where it was obvious there were children and someone was home. The woman seemed eager to be uncooperative. She seemed to delight in ordering us out of the park as if she was a secret service agent guarding the White House.
I smiled and made a kind appeal, which she eagerly denied. We wished her a good evening and obediently left the park. I was frustrated that there were many children in the park who would have loved the games and treats and stories. They would have made new friends. We felt frustrated that we had failed and wasted our time.
I believe in children’s work. My own mother first met Christ at a Bible School many years ago. That faithful little church introduced my mother to Jesus as a child over sixty years ago and she has been in love with him since that day. Our whole family—hundreds of people—have been touched and helped, even saved from an eternity away from God in hell, because someone made an effort to invite two little girls from a broken home to Bible School six decades ago.
In the few minutes we were in the trailer park we were able to give invitations to two or three families. They happily listened and took our flyers. We promised to return in the morning and wrote down the numbers of their homes. When the pastor returned to the park with the church van in the morning the children were dressed for Bible School and eagerly waiting for a ride. Some of the children who attended VBS were in Sunday School the next week. Who knows what will happen because we took the time to invite some children to meet our Jesus. Who knows what could have happened if we had been allowed to invite more.
Don’t let gatekeepers or Jobsworths discourage you from doing whatever you can to invite others to Jesus. Walk over to your neighbors. Strike up conversations with new friends and soccer games. Invite someone over to grill burgers. Ask someone out for coffee. It could make a forever difference in their lives. Pont people to tasteful websites with Christian truth. Invite people to church and meet them for lunch to talk about it afterward. God is worthy and longs to be known and loved by those he created. The gospel is very powerful and Little Hitlers can never stop the force or influence of it. While your at it get to know some gatekeeper types and see if you can discover what hurts or experiences have hardened them to the Beauty of Christ.