Summary: God’s Plan for You to Minister to Other Believers
I. God Has a Plan for You to Minister to Other Believers
This means that, if you have trusted in Jesus as your Savior and Lord, you area called to serve other Christians in some way.
Galatians 5: 13, “For you have been called to live in freedom—not freedom to satisfy your sinful nature, but freedom to serve one another in love.”
Romans 12: 4-5, “Just as our bodies have many parts, and each part has a special function, 5so it is with Christ’s body. We are all parts of His one body, and each of us has different work to do. And since we are all one body in Christ, we belong to each other, and each of us needs all the others.”
Jesus went so far as to say in John 13: 35 what this love and service for other believers will do, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
A great New Testament example of this being done is in the early church. As Jews began to put their faith in Christ as the Messiah, they began to feel the effects of hostility toward them. They were ostracized from their families; basically they were considered to be dead.
Illustration—Fiddler on the Roof. The tradition was that a matchmaker paired up men and women for marriage. The oldest daughter fell in love with a different Jewish man who was very Orthodox. The father gave his permission. The second daughter fell in love with a man who was a radical Jew, still Jewish with some modern ideas. Going against tradition they were not seeking the father’s permission; he gave it anyway. The third daughter fell in love with a man who was not a Jew, and the father would not give his permission, and disowned the daughter when she married, and considered her dead.
This is the way it would have been for the early believers who had been Jews. They were kicked out of their families. Since most of them would have been involved in a family business, agricultural or merchant, their livelihood would have been gone, so they needed the basic things of life: food, shelter, clothing. In Acts 4 we see that the believers loved one another so much they wanted to serve one another, and did so by giving financially—even selling their own land to give to those in need.
So, we are a body of believers, and we are to love and serve one another.
Now, HOW we serve is based on the way that God made us individually to serve. So you need to...
II. Discover God’s PLANS for How He Wants You to Minister to Other Believers
There are at least five things about us personally that affect how we will serve in the church. I use each letter of the word "PLANS" to help identify these five things. I’m, also, going to give you five questions that will help you see how God made you, so that you can, then, make the specific ministry God wants for you, a reality.
P-Passion—What do I love to do?
Think about the things you do for fun, or as a hobby, or for recreation; things you do just because you enjoy doing them. Some of you like to sew, or quilt, or garden. I love to play the guitar, sing, and write music. Others like sports, like baseball, basketball, racing, or soccer. You may just be a spectator; that’s OK.
L-Life Experiences—What are some of the MAJOR events that have happened in my life?
You might think of some medical situations you or a loved one has faced (an accident, a disease, surgery). You might think of marriage ( a successful or failing one). Major educational or business experiences are important life experiences. Also, include spiritual experiences in this list. Some of these things may be painful, some are not, but God can use them all to serve other believers.
A-Abilities—What skills, talents, or resources do you have?
Some of your answers to this question may come from the “Passion” that you mentioned earlier. You may be able to sew well enough to make a shirt or dress. Or make a quilt. You may have some sports ability. I play the guitar and sing and write music. But I also make balloon figures, and I can do several computer-related things. Think about other things that you are able to do: cook, bake, clean, write poetry or stories, do math, woodworking, organizing, planning, business skills, mechanic skills, home repair skills, and so on.
N-Nature (Personality)—What is my personality like?
If you’ve had more than one child or grandchild, you know how different their personalities are, don’t you?
There are at least four distinct personality types that most people fall into, and they may be known by different names. And usually, every person will have some mixture of a couple of these.