July 11, 2014 | 11:35 am

Parrotfish and the Church Community

Parrotfish eat algae and poop sand.

That’s right. They are the coral cleaners and the beach makers.

Among coral reefs where parrotfish are protected, the coral flourishes and the beaches are pristine. Among coral reefs where parrotfish are overfished for human consumption, algae reigns and the coral is buried by green fuzz.

So humans have to decide. Where do we want the remaining parrotfish to end up? On plates or in the water? It is a complicated question, and the answer may be “both”, but the lifecycles of the world’s coral reefs depend upon leaving parrotfish where they can do their job cleaning up the reefs.

Our church ecosystem depends upon people being free to do their jobs, what they were created to do. When we are all empowered to be ourselves and do the things we were made to do, the ecosystem is alive and safe. When we prohibit ourselves or others from participating, the algae grows thick and the church can’t grow.

So, what is your algae? How do you make sand for church? In what areas are you most involved? Do they make you come alive?

If you are looking for a place to use your gifts and talents, the pastoral staff at West End can find a place for you. We need you just like the ocean needs parrotfish.