Summary: Spiritual Growth, Others, Service
4 NEW ATTITUDES THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE – I Need to Keep Growing in Christ
Ephesians 4:11-16 (p. 815) January 18, 2015
I think job descriptions are important! If you don’t know what’s expected of you then how can you fulfill your task?
I remember sitting with Brandon our ministry intern and asking him if he had any questions about his job description. I said have you read line 17? He said, “I don’t know.” (I laughed because I said line 17 says... “And any other job deemed necessary by the Sr. Minister.” By the way...line 17 isn’t really there...but it ought to be.
James S. Hewitt gives this list of job descriptions for the church staff:
Senior Minister: Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. More powerful than a locomotive. Faster than a speeding bullet. Walks on water. Gets direct counsel from God.
Associate Minister: Able to leap short building with some help. As powerful as a Ford pickup. Just as fast as a speeding bullet. Walks on water when the sea is calm. Talk with God.
Minister of Music: Leaps short buildings with a running start. Almost as powerful as a compact car. Faster than a speeding B.B. Occasionally hears from God. Walks on water if he knows where the stumps are.
Minister of Youth: Runs into small buildings. Recognizes a locomotive two out of three times. Uses a squirt gun. Knows how to use the water fountain. Mumbles to himself about God.
Church Secretary: Lifts building to walk under them. Kicks locomotives off their tracks. Catches speeding bullets in her teeth. Freezes water with a single glance. When God speaks she says, “May I say whose calling?”
Maybe I should clarify...that’s how many people think the job descriptions should be for church staff.
I love being a minister (most of the time). In fact I would share with you I believe it was a “calling.” At 18, after giving my life to Christ, I became convinced God had saved me for “full time” Christian service. It’s why I went to Bible College. I wanted to be a youth minister, just like Brewster, my youth minister at Southland. I’m pretty sure Brewster ran into some buildings, and I know he could use a squirt gun. Brewster also mumbled about God a lot, but he loved us, taught us, challenged us. He helped me start growing up, even though I was just a brand new baby in Christ, from the get-go I was challenged “To live a life worthy of the calling you received.” (Eph. 4:1)
As I’ve shared over the last two weeks in this series...God doesn’t call us...and save us so we can then “coast it on into the harbor.” God’s plan is for saved people to serve Him. And He will enable “all those He’s called” to serve effectively through gifts given by the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 4:7 says “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.” Verse 8 says, “He gives gifts to His people.” Verse 11 has a list: Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, Teachers. (We’ll talk about these specific gifts a little later) but the purpose of all Holy Spirit given gifts is:
“To equip God’s people for works of service so that the body of Christ may be build up. (these gifts should help us) reach unity in the faith. This knowledge should keep us growing until we become mature, like Jesus.
For all this to happen powerfully and effectively we must understand our calling.
I. GOD HAS CALLED US TO A LIFE WITH PURPOSE
We live in a world of “give me, serve me, listen to me!”
Jesus might have told his followers “It’s more blessed to give than receive.” But Satan, the god of this world continually whispers his lies “You need this. You deserve this. You really want this. Demand your rights.”
And even as we followers of Christ try to “take up our cross, deny ourselves and follow in the footsteps of Jesus, we do so in a world that is heading in the opposite road with a broad highway mentality...towards destruction.
Paul is in prison as he writes these words to the church at Ephesus. He’s not in jail because he’s robbed somebody, or broken an earthly law – He’s in prison because he is a servant of Jesus “as a prisoner for the Lord.” Eph. 4:1 says He’s literally saying...because of this calling I received from Jesus on the Damascus Rd. I’m in prison...but it’s worth it...“you are worth it.”
None of us can serve God effectively and powerfully if our first priority is self. He lets us know there is a bigger goal for our calling. A bigger goal for our growth...and that goal is “the church.” Listen: