Summary: Too many people are worried about things being done right that they neglect doing the best things. Few lay people think that they have what it takes to be used of God as those who are professionally trained ministers. However, God equips everyone uniquely
How to Mobilize People for Action (Eph. 11-13)
"It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists and some to be pastors and teachers to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." (Eph. 4:11-13)
Illustration:Most people wish to serve God -- but in an advisory capacity only.
Quoted in Sunday Express, London.
1. WHY ARE SO FEW LAY PEOPLE ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN MINISTRY?
a. The harvest is always plentiful, but the workers are few. Too man Christians are maintenance minded instead of being harvesters. (Matt. 9:36-38)
b. Too many people are worried about things being done right that they neglect doing the best things.
c. Few lay people think that they have what it takes to be used of God as those who are professionally trained ministers. However, God equips everyone uniquely to be His workers. (Eph. 2:10)
Illustration:During the American Revolution a man in civilian clothes rode past a group of soldiers repariing a small defensive barrier. their leader was shouting instructions, but making no attempt to help them. Asked why by the rider, he retorted with great dignity, "Sir, I am a corporal!" The stranger apologized, dismounted, and proceeded to help the exhausted soldiers. The job done, he turned to the corporal and said, "Mr. Corporal, next time you have a job like this and not enough men to do it, go to your commander-in-chief, and I will come and help you again." It was none other than George Washington.
Today in the Word, March 6, 1991.
d. Few lay people have the spiritual maturity to assume positions of responsibility. Yet, everyone is told to grow up into all aspects into Christ.
e. Some lay people assume that the witnessing is to be left up to the clergy. (acts 1:8)
f. Some lay people do not realize that most churches were planted and grown through house family fellowships led by lay elders in the book of Acts. (Acts 2:41-47)
g. Other lay people have not properly equipped themselves for the work of the ministry through training and gaining adequate ministry experiences.
2. HOW CAN LAY PEOPLE EQUIP THEMSELVES FOR THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY?
a. They can ask God to guide them in the ways to discover and develop their spiritual gifts.
b. They can quietly share their faith with those around them and observe the ways that God uses them in being faithful in little things. (Lk. 16:10)
c. They can serve as apprentices under Godly leaders who can teach from their exemplary lifestyles.
d. They can ask their spiritual leaders for opportunities to teach, preach and lead in small group fellowships.
e. They can be doers of the word in the areas where they are aware of their spiritual responsibilities to worship, witness, fellowship, pray, obey God and study the scriptures. (James 1:22)
f. They can bloom where they are planted
g. They can make a prayer list that asks God progressively for greater ways in which they can serve him through the Church and through the fulfilling of Christ’s great commission.
3. HOW CAN LAY PEOPLE DO MINISTRY? -
a. They can share the gospel with people in their neighborhoods through casual visits.
b. They can teach Sunday School classes
c. They can get involved with group Bible studies that teach one how to study the Bible in depth.
d. They can get with other people who are willing to pray seriously about evangelism, discipleship, and church planting and growth.
e. They can ask their spiritual leaders for ideas to serve the Lord in areas where there is the greatest need.
f. They can help bring people to fellowships and ministry functions that allow people to gain exposure to the scriptures and the love of God.
g. They can read Christian biographies of Godly men and women and seek to follow their examples.
4. SOME RESULTS OF LAY MINISTRIES -
a. The lay led ministries of the early church resulted in the planting of hundreds of house fellowships that were blessed in their teaching, preaching, giving hospitality, healing, service, mercy and prayer ministries.
b. Lay leaders are able to go to many places where professional Christian workers cannot go because of their implied neutrality.
c. Lay workers are able to be self-supporting
d. Lay workers are able to work in countries that are closed to missionaries and evangelists.
e. Lay workers are able to pray more intelligently for others in their professions because they know the every day temptations that are faced by normal people.
f. Lay people are humble enough to rely on the Lord rather than on their professional training.