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Summary: 3rd in 5-part series on casting vision and clarity for the purpose of our church.

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“OUR PURPOSE: URGING EACH MEMBER TO SERVE THE LORD WITHIN THE CHURCH”

Ephesians 4:11-16

INTRODUCTION:

The story is told of a very large woman who attended a banquet and absolutely gorged herself on the buffet and afterwards felt very, very guilty. She said to her husband, "I shouldn’t of done that, I always eat too much, I look like a big elephant!" The husband tried to be kind and replied, "Oh, no honey, you’re not like an elephant, you’re like a mouse." "Really," she asked, knowing it wasn’t true but pushing the compliment, "You mean I’m like a little bitty house mouse right?" "Well, no," said the husband not being able to tell a bold face lie, "not like a little house mouse." "Well, then like a field mouse, that’s what you meant wasn’t it darling?" Now red faced the husband said, "Well, no, not exactly." "Then what a kind of mouse are you talking about then?" “Well, kind of like a hippopota-"mouse."

Unfortunately, many churches have a lot of "hippopota `mouse’" Christians. People are being fed continually.. coming Sunday after Sunday, going to classes, taking advantage of what the Church offers in terms of spiritual feeding, physical care and fellowship but they never exercise their gift in service. John MacArthur said it this way, “Why do we have so many “Couch-Potato Christians? Why do we have so many with the “consumer attitude,” “What’s in it for me? Because they have never grasped that the church was not established for them, but IS them!” You see, the Church of Jesus Christ was never meant to be a corporation, a service club or an organization. It was founded by Jesus Christ to be a living organism.. In fact, the main metaphor in the N.T. that describes the Church is “Body.” And just like in a human body, each member must be an active and effective part of the organism so it may be at the peak of its health. The same is true of the Church.. We are all to do works of service so as our text from Ephesians says, “..so the Body of Christ may be built up... and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of Christ.” But how do we help each other do that?

You know, more and more now as we approach the Christmas holidays, you’re going to hear one “Four-letter word” a lot. That’s the word "g-i-f-t". Gift giving, gift receiving, gift wrapping, gift lists, gift certificates. I want to talk to you this morning about another kind of gift.. Spiritual gifts. God is the giver and every believer has at least one gift to be used for the Church. That’s why our third practice statement says, “M.C.C. seeks to accomplish it’s purpose by: Urging each member to serve the Lord within the Church..by consistently affording opportunities for ministry and by guiding each member in the use of those abilities (gifts) for the building up of others.” We are to help you discover, develop and deploy your gift to the glory of God and the benefit of the church. This text from Ephesians gives us a design of how that is supposed to happen.

I. UNVEILING MY LEADER’S PURPOSE: vss: 11-15


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