Back when the west was being settled, the major means of transportation was the stagecoach. I’m sure you’ve seen the depictions of people in the westerns riding in stagecoaches. What you may or may not know is that there were three different types of passengers on these stagecoaches. You had the first-class ticket holders, the second-class ticket holders, and the third-class ticket holders. If you had a first-class ticket, you could remain seated and fully relaxed throughout the entire trip no matter what happened. If the stagecoach got stuck in the mud or had trouble making it up a steep hill or if a wheel fell off, you could remain seated because you had a first-class ticket. If you had a second-class ticket, you could also remain seated until there was a problem. If a problem did arise, second-class ticket holders would have to get off the stagecoach until the problem was resolved. You didn’t necessarily have to get your hands dirty. You could stand off to the side and observe as other people worked, but you were not allowed to stay seated, and you might have to dig in and help if the situation demanded it. If you were a third-class ticket holder, you would definitely have to get out of your seat because it was your responsibility to help solve whatever the problem was. You had to get out and push or lift or fix a broken wheel; whatever was needed because you were a third-class ticket holder.
Every church has some first-class ticket holders. They remain seated and watch while others do the work. They are the spectators. Every church also has some second-class ticket holders; people who remain seated until there’s a problem, then they look around to see if anyone is going to fix it. They may dig in and help if they see that no one else is willing to do so. But what the church should be filled with is third-class ticket holders; those folks who do the work no matter what. They don’t sit and observe. They don’t wait for someone else to take action. They get out of their seat, roll up their sleeves, and get to work because that’s what’s needed and that’s what’s expected.
– Chris McCurley
Preaching Minister, Oldham Lane church of Christ