Summary: As we approach the subject of serving God by using the gifts that He has given us, it helps to have the right perspective about ourselves, God, others, and a sense of how each gift fits into the bigger picture of the body of Christ, the family of God.
Romans 12:3-8 3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. 4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
Intro: Isn’t it great when people find what they were created to do! I love to see people using their God-given gifts in a way that brings blessing to God’s family and a sense of fulfillment and joy to the one ministering! Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen.
An usher met an elderly lady at the back door of church and asked her, "Where would you like to sit?"
"On the front row." Was her reply?
"You don’t want to do that," the usher said, "The pastor is really boring."
"Do you know who I am?"
"I’m the pastor’s mother."
He asked her, "Do you know who I am?"
"No" came the reply.
-It is important that we find the right fit and are suited to the task, but it’s even more important that we have the right heart and attitude when we set out to do something for the Lord. Our service for God must be done out of love and obedience to Him, and genuine concern for those to whom we minister.
-Napoleon once pointed to a map of China and said, “There lies a sleeping giant. If it ever wakes up, it will be unstoppable.”
-Some have described the church in the United States as a sleeping giant. If it ever wakes up, it will be unstoppable. Vast numbers attend church each Sunday, and that is about as far as their faith takes them. There is simply no doubt that if all church members were as active as Christ has called them to be, the church would be unstoppable. Instead of lamenting all the bad things that are going on in our culture, the church would be actively engaged in transforming our culture for good.
-Jesus has great expectations for his body, the church. He expects every Christian whom he has saved to be actively using the gifts and talents that he has given for ministry.
-A Gallup survey revealed that only 10% of American church members are active in any kind of ministry. Is it any wonder that the church is a sleeping giant? The Gallup survey said that 50% of church members have no interest in serving in any ministry at all. Every other church member says that they simply want to remain as spectators. When asked to serve in a ministry, they say, “I just don’t feel led to get involved.”
-DL Moody said, “A great many people have a false idea about the Church. They have the idea that the Church is a place to rest in… To get into a nicely cushioned pew, and contribute to the charities, listen to the minister, and do their share to keep the Church out of bankruptcy, is all they want. The idea of work for them—actual work in the Church—never enters their mind.” (Paul Decker, SC)
-His point is that every Christian is to be a minister. The work of the church, or meeting the needs of people, is the responsibility of all believers.
-So, why should I be interested in getting involved in service?”
-I am glad you asked! The Bible actually gives several reasons why you should be involved in ministry.
1. You were created for ministry. Paul says in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” You were not created to live for yourself, your family, your legacy, your prosperity, or whatever. You were created in Christ Jesus to minister to the Lord, believers, and unbelievers.
2. You were saved for ministry. Paul says in 2 Timothy 1:9 that God “saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began.” You have not been saved to sit in a church and soak it all in. No, you have been saved to serve! And when you don’t serve, when you are not active in ministry, you are not blessed by God.