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Service in the Church

October 26, 2010

We got ready to leave for church last Sunday and my five year old asked, “Mommy, why do we have to go watch the babies? It’s no fun.” It would be easy to say, “Because I said so.” That may work with my five year old. But I need to be able to communicate why we serve in the church to a fifteen year old, and a twenty-five year old, and a fifty year old. “Because I said so” doesn’t cut it for long.

God says to each one of us, “You need to serve. This is how you serve. This is where you serve. This is why you serve.” You find these instructions in 1 Corinthians chapter 12 in the discussion on spiritual gifts:

• There is a variety of gifts, but the Spirit is the gift giver (v. 4)
• They are for the edification of the church (v. 7)
• No gift is superior to another (v. 12)
• We depend on one another (v. 26)
• All gifts are necessary for the health of the church (v. 28)

I love sports, but I’m not athletic. Back when I had to take PE classes, I was always picked when the team captains were running out of options. Eventually, I learned just to stick to the sidelines. But on God’s team, I’m not picked last and I can’t just watch the game from the stands. He has a way for me to serve His body the church. He gifted me specifically for my service. Ken Hemphill says, “First, there are no spectators in the Body of Christ. You were saved and gifted by God to serve for the advancement of the Kingdom. Second, all members of the body must work cooperatively for the church to operate with full effectiveness. You are important to the work of your church.”

Making the body of Christ work effectively takes all of us (and all of our gifts). If you feel like you’ve been standing on the sidelines, pray and ask God how He would have you serve. You may feel His nudge to respond to a request for more nursery workers. Or, you may sign-up to welcome visitors and help them feel comfortable entering your church. However God has gifted you, please don’t let that gift waste away. Remember these convicting words from Ken Hemphill,  “Any Christian who fails to discover and utilize his or her gift in service to or through the church sins against the King and weakens His body, the church.”

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. October 26, 2010 8:40 am

    God says to each one of us, “You need to serve. This is how you serve. This is where you serve. This is why you serve.”

    SO SO good. Thank you, Sandra, for this important reminder to all of us. We NEED to serve.

  2. October 26, 2010 10:02 am

    Thanks Sandra! Excellent reminder today of why we serve!

  3. October 26, 2010 11:06 am

    We talked about this in our Sunday School class. I think there should be some way for the church to help members figure out and grow their spiritual gifts.

    • October 26, 2010 2:52 pm

      I agree Randi! There are lots of resources on-line, like the link I gave from LifeWay. You can take copies of the survey to your class and I’m sure your pastoral staff would be happy suggest ways to use your gifts.

  4. October 26, 2010 3:35 pm

    While I was growing up, I remember often asking my mom, “I don’t have a gift, Mom. What am I good at?” It is so comforting (and empowering) to know that God has given each one of us, individually, a good, pleasing, Spiritual gift to share, even if we may not be aware of what that gift is at first. I love how you said: “He has a way for me to serve His body the church. He gifted me specifically for my service. ” These statements, of course, remind me of Jeremiah 29:11.

    Even more important is what you said later: “However God has gifted you, please don’t let that gift waste away.” I’m reminded of James 1:22 (“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”) in needing to act.

    Thanks for this post today!

  5. stephanieshott permalink
    October 26, 2010 7:24 pm

    Sandra ~ What a great reminder of our need to be who we say we are…”servants of the Most High God.”

  6. October 27, 2010 1:59 pm

    And God is so good to invite us and prepare us to serve Him. It really shows us that He WANTS us to serve, since He gives us gifts that we know are essential to our Body life.

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