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Connection is Key to Service

October 14, 2010

Yesterday, Sandra gave us a beautiful parallel as to why we need the local church. Today we are going to look at why we need to serve through a local body of believers.

I’m going to preface this post with a word to all born again believers. Whether you are involved in a church of 100 or 10,000 or are part of a group who is going organic or seeking out a homechurch, the biblical call to be connected is equally relevant.  The way you function may look a bit different, but the core components of the biblical model should remain the same. The purpose and role of each member should line up with Scripture, no matter where you meet or how many you meet with.

When we are saved – born again by the Living God – we are called to follow Christ. In fact, the term “Christian” was originally used by the people of Antioch to describe the believers there. Their new name describe them as followers of Christ or “Little Christs.” They were known to be doers of what Jesus did – to live like He lived – to serve like He served.

The same should be true for all who call themselves “Christians.”

In Matthew 10:45 Jesus declares one of His primary purposes in making His divinely human appearance on planet earth was to serve mankind.

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

So, in essence, we are saved to serve. We glorify God by the way we live out loud what Christ has done inside.

1 Corinthian 12 tells us the people who are born again and make up what we know as the church are given specific gifts that work in different ways in and through the body of Christ. Each gift is given as the Holy Spirit of God chooses.

As each part of the body is dependent upon the other parts of the body to function to its fullest, so too is the church dependent upon each member to function to its fullest.

Time and space does not allow me to go into the various gifts God gives – we’ll save that for future posts, but it’s important that we understand that our connection to a local body is key to our growth as well as our service.

My gifts may take me in a different direction of ministry than your gifts, but each gift is equally important and necessary within the local church and beyond its four walls.

Our unique giftedness is a divine decision which leaves no room for boasting, no room for feeling less than another believer and no room for frustration about another believer’s disinterest in our specific ministry or calling.

Just as a hand does not function as a detached member of the body, neither do we – the church. Whether God’s gifting has placed you in a position of ministry beyond the four walls of your local church or strictly within the context of your home church, connection is key to service.

Gifts determine our service. Calling distinguishes our service. Connection supports, enhances and validates our service.

If you ever have any doubt as to whether connection is necessary for believers, consider the following word from the Word:

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25

Bottom line – we need each other to live this Christian life out loud. We learn how to serve the world by serving each other first. Our local connection is the catalyst for service in and outside the body of Christ.

Do you struggle with understanding the need to be connected to a local church? Would you like to share how you’ve learned the importance of being connected or how your connection has made a difference in your life?

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. October 14, 2010 8:07 am

    Stephanie, great word today! It is truly sad how many Christians today think they can do life on their own. When God saved us, He saved us into a family. He intends for us to follow Christ together. I love what you said about service: “We learn how to serve the world by serving each other first.”

  2. stephanieshott permalink
    October 14, 2010 8:53 am

    Kathy ~ As a missionary, I learned how difficult it is to be a hand without an arm. God knows what we need and tells us what we need…we need each other. So thankful He gives us a forever family to do this life together and spend the next life with.

  3. October 14, 2010 11:19 am

    Great article, Stephanie! It’s much easier to love our neighbors when we are not in contact with them. It’s when we learn to serve alongside them, flaws and all, that we learn what it is truly to love, to count others as more than ourselves…

    • stephanieshott permalink
      October 14, 2010 2:06 pm

      Evelyn ~ I love that – “flaws and all.” And boy I know I have plenty of them! So glad love sees past who I am and loves me anyway. We really do need each other!

      So glad you’re digging with us! 🙂

  4. October 18, 2010 1:47 am

    I’m really loving these posts on the church (and am finally catching up on over a week’s worth)!

    I love this: “So, in essence, we are saved to serve. We glorify God by the way we live out loud what Christ has done inside.” And that verse from Hebrews. I also think of Galatians 6:10 – “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

    It wasn’t until I had been a believer for a while that I learned about the importance of fellowship and encouragement in the faith (giving and receiving).

    Looking forward to the rest of these posts this month.

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