Summary: Christian Service
I. One of the greatest atrocities that has ever occurred against God’s church occurred in the middle ages.
A. When I say that some of you might think that I am talking about the persecutions against the church, but that is not what I am talking about.
B. One of the greatest tactics of satan to weaken the church was something that happened after the persecutions.
C. In the late 300s the church began to gain power. Constantine had become the emperor of Rome, and Christianity had become the state religion of the Roman empire.
D. Suddenly the church was given wealth and power, and some things changed for the better but some things also changed for the worse.
E. Before this time, there was no hierarchy in the church. There were leaders that were given more responsibility, but every Christian was a part of the Churches ministry, and every Christian considered themselves an ambassador of the message of the grace of the gospel of Jesus.
F. But now that the churches had increasing wealth and power some things were changing.
G. The Priest and bishops were more and more seen as the only ones capable of doing ministry, and the church was becoming more of a ceremony that had all the Pomp and flourish of the emperor that supported it.
H. A terrible thing was happening that is still affecting the church today in some ways. The common people were being pushed out of the ministry of the church.
I. They were being told that only those who had a certain education and position were capable of doing ministry, and even though we have moved away from that idea to some extent there is still and idea in the minds of a lot of Christians that the Minister or the Preacher is the one that does ministering and it has been a crippling idea in the church for centuries.
II. We started this church seven years ago as of the 4th of June and one of the main things that we said that we wanted to do was to make this a place where every person that walked through the door was accepted for who they were and shown love.
A. We said that we wanted every person that came in to know that they were someone who was important to God, and someone that was important to us because they were important to God. And I think that we have done well at that.
B. We also said that this was going to be a place where every member would be a minister, and involved in the ministry of the church, and we have not done as well at that as we need to.
C. We have been going through some changes, and the funding went through to finish our building this week, and we are going to be moving into a new phase of the life of this church.
D. For quite some time the emphasis has been getting this building built and that is the way that it has had to be, but shortly the emphasis is going to have to change to getting the building full.
E. It would be an absolute tragedy to put as much time and effort into something as we have this building and not use it for the purpose that it was built, and that is to reach people for Christ.
F. And I have said all that to say this, its time for more of the members of this church to get involved in the ministry and outreach of this church. It is time for us to make more of a difference in the lives of the people in this community,
G. And when I say that it means that it is time for all you to get involved in ministry.
III. Now I know that there are a lot of you that feel that you can’t do that, or that you are not qualified to do that and that is not true. That is a part of the lie that was started in the Middle Ages, and it is one that we have to over come to move on as a church.
A. I want to introduce to a man today, a man that could have very well had the attitude that he could not make a difference, but if we look at his story we will see that he made a great difference in the history of a nation.
B. This man was not a really affluent man. He was a Shepherd in the country of Israel, which to us is not a bad thing but it was not seen quite that way in the time that he lived.
C. Those who tended animals were seen as ceremonially unclean. Those who tended animals were seen as unclean because of their contact with the animals, and because they were in contact with the animals on a day to day basis they were looked down on.