Summary: God gives us gifts to offer back to His service.
Called To Serve
One Sunday morning the pastor was trying to move his congregation from being spectators to becoming participants in the ministry of the Kingdom. He had prayed all week that the Lord would open the eyes of all of those who called the church “home.” The pastor knew that he had been given a word from the Lord and he was chomping at the bit to deliver the Word. His passion exuded from his voice as he told the congregation, "With God’s help we can see the day when this church will go from crawling to walking." The people responded enthusiastically, "Let the church walk, pastor, let the church walk." “Oh yea! The Lord has answered my prayer! They are getting it,” the pastor thought to himself as he rolled into his next sentence. "And when the church begins to walk, next the church can begin to run." And the people shouted, "Let the church run, pastor, let the church run!" The pastor was beside himself as he continued, "And finally the church can move from running and finally begin to soar. Oh, the church can soar! But of course, that’s going to take the commitment of all of us for that to happen!" The congregation grew quiet, deathly quiet, and from the back of the small church, someone mumbled, "Let the church crawl, pastor, let the church crawl." And so it is.
This past week I was talking with my friend Dr. David Darnell in Frisco, Texas. Dr. Darnell and I were talking about Scripture when out of the blue David began talking about what is taking place in our society and how it concerns him. Looking at our culture through the eyes of faith you might conclude that this 72 year old man would be ready to throw in the towel, but you would be wrong. David said, “There has never been a time in my life when the opportunity to minister has been greater! The only problem is that the Church, the Body of Christ, is not seizing the opportunity.” David is 72 years old, but he has the sharpest mind of anybody that I have ever been around in my life -- and he is absolutely right.
Another brilliant mind, Dr. Howard Hendricks from Dallas Theological Seminary, once said, “80% of the work of the Church is carried on by 20% of the people. This small band of faithful servants are the pillars of the Church who hold up the great ministry of our Lord.” I have been asking the Lord why this is so? I have been asking the Lord, “Why, when there is something that needs to be done, someone that needs to be ministered to, do we have to always ask the same people?” I have racked my brain trying to figure out why so many folks who go to church, maybe attend a Bible study now and then, and call themselves Christians are so apathetic when it comes to the things of God, when it comes to serving the Lord, and getting involved in the ministry of the church? I believe that the Lord has shown me some of the reasons why we are where we are today. Let me share them with you.
First, I believe that you always see the same folks serving the local Body because some of us don’t understand that we are ministers, we are called to surrender our lives to the service of our King. I am convinced that because there is a famine of biblical teaching today many Christians believe that once they come to know Christ that they can sit back and relax. They have secured a place in heaven so now they can go back to doing whatever they want to do. These folks do not read God’s Word, they don’t study God’s Word, and they don’t allow the Word of God to mold and shape them so they are simply ignorant of God’s will for their lives.
Secondly, there is another group of folks who call themselves Christians, but they are busy. You will find them hustling all over the city doing “this, that, and the other,” but you will rarely find them visiting the hospital unless it is a family member or close friend. They call themselves Christians, but because they are busy you will rarely find them volunteering their time to help someone in need. They call themselves Christians, but because they are busy you will rarely find them sharing their faith with someone else. If someone from the church accosts them, guilt’s them, or grabs them by the collar and says, “We need your help!” then they will help, but they will never call and say, “Please use me!”
The third reason why we see the same faces doing everything all of the time is because a large portion of the Body of Christ is simply lazy. They don’t want to be bothered. They don’t want their routine, their schedule, their preferences and free time interrupted by something as trivial as serving God. This is the saddest lot of those who frequent the church and know Christ as Lord of their life because they have no idea how they are missing out on the richest blessings of the Savior…serving Him by serving His people. The great preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon once wrote.