Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Sorry for the long title! Message about the family of God coming alongside other members, meeting their needs. Warning! Not for those who believe in the traditional roles of pastors!

Developing a Passion for Meeting the Needs of the Family of God

Ephesians 4:11-16, Acts 6:1-7

February 13, 2005


Today we pick up our series of re-iterating the purposes of the church. We’ve talked about worship, fellowship, and discipleship, and today we pick it up looking at the issue of ministry, or meeting the needs of the family of God.

God is passionate about his family, and he’s passionate about not only meeting the needs of his family, but in empowering his children to be used by him to do that.

I’m going to warn you ahead of time that some of what I’m going to say will challenge you, and may not sit comfortably with you right away.

But I’m going to ask that you hang on through the whole message, okay?

Sometimes we think of ministry as the "job" of the church, and in many ways that is correct, though not to the degree it’s thought of nowadays.

When discussing ministry, I think it’s important to think not in terms of a "job" that belongs to the institution of the church, but rather in terms of a family coming together to support its members.

When members of the family of God come along to meet the needs of other family members, ministry happens, helping the Body of Christ and honoring the Father.

I’ve said before that just like an earthly father, the Father in heaven likes to see his children getting along. And I also believe he is pleased when he sees them coming to each other’s aid.

God loves his family, and he loves seeing it function as he designed it. And one of those functions is to meet the needs of the family.

Today I want to give you three facts about developing a passion for meeting the needs of the family of God.

Fact #1: - God expects everyone to be involved in ministry.

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service,...

Ephesians 2:10 -

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Misconception: the pastor is supposed to do it all.

Truth: the pastor’s job is to train others to do the work.

Is this news to you? It’s not news to me, but one of the things that’s been on my heart for the last couple of years is how to develop our church into a body that really ministers.

We’ve made some good strides, thanks in no small part to Cindy Sippel, our director of ministry.

One of my goals for the church this year is to bring in tools to help all of us become involved in the ministries of the church, especially ministry that takes place outside of this building.

Let me show you an exciting example of what can happen when the people get involved in meeting the needs of the family of God

Turn with me to Acts chapter 6. If you’re using one of the Bibles in the seats, this is on page 774.

AC 6:1 In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. 2 So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, "It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3 Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word."

AC 6:5 This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. 6 They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.

AC 6:7 So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.

There was a legitimate need, no question, but the leadership could not take away from their primary task to meet this need.

So they came up with a solution - involve those most able to meet the need! Who’da thunk it?

Let’s see - here’s a need, here are some people to fill it - NAHHHH!!! That’s waaaaayyy too simple of a solution. It’s gotta be more complicated than that! After all, we’re sophisticated people.

(as I was trying to type the word "sophisticated" I started typing "suffocating" - maybe a Freudian slip?)

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