Summary: Part of a series on the keys to joyful service in the church

Service with a Smile:

Finding Your Place

Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:12-27

[Show Antz video, pre-title segment]

There is within each of us,

a longing to be useful,

to be needed,

to contribute to the lives of others

in a meaningful way,

a desire to know

that we’ve made a difference to someone,

a hunger to be a part

of something important,

something worthwhile,

something great.

You’ve felt it, haven’t you?

Maybe you’re even feeling it now.

And yet, so often we feel exactly the opposite,



like that poor ant

in the video segment we just saw,

who was the middle child--

do we have any middle children here?

Raise your hands--any middle children here?

. . . Any of you who were the middle child

in a family of 50 million?

I didn’t think so.

But even so,

whether we’re firstborns like

Brittany Lillibridge and

Grace Manka and

Jane Beck and

Matt Jarvi,

or middle children like

Robin Hostetler,

Pete Conner,

Eliah Seal,

Traister Oglesbee, and

Sara Zimmer,

or the youngest in the family, like

me, like

Elissa Hostetler,

Holly Isaacs,

Shawn Johnson,

Sass Campbell,

Amy Johnson, and--so far!--

Nicholas Wellman,

(and I know I left out a lot of you)

but regardless of where we fit in--or didn’t--

in our families,

we all long to fit in somewhere,

to believe that we’re important,

that we have something to offer,

that we’re not insignificant,

but that somewhere there is a place,

a role,

a function,

where we can fit in and do something important,

something valuable and fulfilling.

And it is my prayer and purpose this morning for God to answer those longings and help each one of us here find our place in his plan and in his church.

Good morning. My name is Bob Hostetler, and

this morning at Cobblestone Community Church this morning we are concluding a four-week series of messages from the Bible, entitled “Serving with a Smile,” a series based on our firm conviction that it is possible to for all of us

to have FUN and find FULFILLMENT

in glorifying God and serving others

in his church.

And we believe that the way to do that involves:

• finding your passion, which we discussed three weeks ago,

• finding your spiritual gifts, which we discussed on November 12,

• finding your style, which we covered last Sunday, and

• finding your place, which is our subject this morning.

You see, we here at Cobblestone Community Church are preparing to launch a distinctly




outward-focused church here in Oxford

on Palm Sunday, April 8, 2001.

But before we do that, we believe it’s important that every person who chooses to be involved in that process get a good, solid grip on his or her


spiritual gifts,

and personal style,

and figure out what areas of service

to God and others intersects with those things,

so as to find the place

where you can have a blast

and feel gratified and fulfilled

because of the ease and effectiveness

you’re experienceing in what you’re doing for God.

So, let’s get started by turning in the Bible to the New Testament book of 1 Corinthians. . .

1 Corinthians chapter twelve.

We were in this chapter just two weeks ago,

when we discussed spiritual gifts,

and we’re actually going to pick up

where we left off back then.

By the way, if you’re here without a Bible of your own this morning, we’ve provided Bibles for you in the center of each table and we hope, if you don’t have a Bible of your own, that you’ll do us the favor of taking one of ours home with you . . .

No strings attached!

So, having said all that,

let’s look at 1 Corinthians, chapter twelve. . . .

It’s on page ___ if you’re reading from one of the

table Bibles today . . .

And I want to encourage you

with three crucial things

the Bible has to say

to any of you here this morning

who are interested in finding your place.

Look at verse 12 of 1 Corinthians 12,

while I explain first, that we call this book of the Bible 1 Corinthians because it is the first of two surviving letters Paul the Apostle wrote to Christians living in Corinth, this 1 Corinthians.

So I’ll ask you to look at the text with me,

1 Corinthians 12:12, and to recognize, first of all, that:

1. There’s a Place for You (vv. 12-13)

Having just talked about the different spiritual gifts that God gives to everyone in the church, the Apostle Paul goes on in this letter to set up a metaphor in verse 12, which he keeps using then for the rest of this chapter. Look at it in verse 12:

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