Summary: The vision of this sermon is to move people out of the pews and into service.
I Will Serve the Ministry of Our Church
January 25, 2004
A. [Wrong Side of the Boat]
People who refuse to get involved in problems of their community are like the two shipwrecked men in a lifeboat.
From their end of the boat, the pair watched as those at the other end bailed frantically to keep the boat afloat.
The one said to the other, “Thank heaven, the hole is not on our end of the boat.”
1. Unfortunately, that seems to be all too typical of most people in our society.
2. The trouble with so many in our society is that they don’t realize that the boat is going to go down no matter where the hole is!
B. We have been studying through our new mission covenant…
1. We took a break from it last Sunday in recognition of the Sanctity of Human Life Sunday.
2. Week before last we looked at the second statement, which is: I will share the responsibility of our church.
3. The first Sunday of the year we started out with the first statement: I will save the unity of our church.
a. I will save the unity of our church by acting in love toward other members.
b. I will save the unity of our church by refusing to gossip.
c. I will save the unity of our church by following the leaders.
4. Last week we talked about the fact that our mission and responsibility as a church is to spread the good news of Jesus.
5. We are to seek and save the lost and we are to teach the saved.
6. Go, teach, baptize, and teach.
7. I explained that the Holy Spirit gives different gifts to different believers.
8. One of those gifts is the God-given gift of evangelism the ability and desire to share Jesus with people in such a way that many people get saved.
9. I explained that one study showed that only 10% of all believers have that gift.
10. Those who have it sure need to use!
11. But the other 90% still have some responsibility to share in our responsibility of spreading the gospel—even if they don’t have the gift of evangelism.
12. This statement is actually for the 100%…
a. I will share the responsibility of our church by praying for its growth.
b. I will share the responsibility of our church by inviting the unchurched to attend.
c. I will share the responsibility of our church by warmly welcoming those who visit.
C. Now today, we come to the third statement: I will serve the ministry of our church.
1. If you don’t have the gift of evangelism, you do have some other talent or ability that you should be using.
2. We should be using our God-given talents to serve—even if the hole is not at your end of the boat!
D. [Just Checking]
A man who had regularly prayed for many years began to wonder if God heard his prayers at all.
During one of his routine times of prayer, he started this doubting pattern once again.
He stopped praying and thought for a moment.
“Enough of this,” he said.
He then lifted his eyes toward heaven and yelled, “Hey up there, can you hear me?”
There was no response.
He continued, “Hey, God, if you can really hear me, tell me what you want me to do with my life.”
A voice from above thundered a reply, “I WANT YOU TO HELP THE NEEDY AND GIVE YOUR LIFE FOR THE CAUSE OF PEACE!”
Faced with more of a challenge than the man really wanted, he answered, “Actually, God, I was just checking to see if you were there.”
The voice from above now answered with disappointment: “THAT’S ALRIGHT; I WAS ONLY CHECKING TO SEE IF YOU WERE THERE.”
1. Why is it that we have a hard time with service?
2. Why is it that we humans have a hard time serving other people?
E. [Fat, Faint, or Fit]
If you take in and don’t give out, you become FAT.
If you give out and don’t take in, you become FAINT.
If you give out and take in, you become FIT.
1. When I was at Ozark Bible College in Joplin, MO, our president, Ken Idleman, used to say it this way: “Impression without Expression leads to Depression.”
2. If we just take it all in and never give anything out, what good is it?
3. You see going to church and learning about God, Jesus, and the Bible is a good thing—but if we don’t do anything with it, it is useless.
4. In Ephesus, there were a lot of people who just loved to sit and read, study, and debate the Bible.