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,
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
or middle children like
Traister Oglesbee, and
or the youngest in the family, like
Amy Johnson, and--so far!--
(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,
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
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: