Summary: Building God’s Church through Service(Bob Russell - When God Build’s a Church)

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Ministers often hear excuses from folks whom they have asked to serve in some role in church. The next time you feel like GOD can’t use you, just remember...

Noah was a drunk

Abraham was too old

Isaac was a daydreamer

Jacob was a liar

Leah was ugly

Joseph was abused

Moses had a stuttering problem

Gideon was afraid

Sampson had long hair and was a womanizer

Rahab was a prostitute

Jeremiah and Timothy were too young

David had an affair and was a murderer

Elijah was suicidal

Isaiah preached naked

Jonah ran from God

Naomi was a widow

Job went bankrupt

John the Baptist ate bugs

Peter denied Christ

The Disciples fell asleep while praying

Martha worried about everything

The Samaritan woman was divorced, more than once

Zaccheus was too small

Paul was too religious

Timothy had an ulcer...


Lazarus was dead!

This is the fifth in a series of sermons loosely based on Bob Russell’s book “When God Builds a Church.” So far we have talked about Truth, Faith, Excellence, and Leadership. Today we are talking about Service. This point is a bit different than the others. There is a chapter in Russell’s book titled Participation. I changed the title because, at least in my mind, conjured up images of people showing up and singing along with the hymns. When you read Russell’s book, the chapter on Participation is participation in the church’s ministries. I thought that Service was a clearer way to communicate that idea.

Last week we talked about leadership. That focused on the qualities and commitment that is need by the ministers, elders, and other leaders of the congregation. Today we are taking this one more step. We are talking about the need for every member of the congregation to use their time and talents to participate in the ministry of the church.

Our reading from Ephesians today seems to be about leadership. It talks about apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers.

Let me digress for a moment and give you an easy way to remember these five foundational leadership roles. There is a ministry for each finger on your hand. The apostles are the thumb. The thumb is the foundation of the hand and the apostles are the foundation of the church ministry. You use the index finger to point things out, just as the prophetic role involves, not so much predicting the future, but pointing out things that the church needs to address today. The third finger is the longest, just as the evangelists are those who are responsible for extending the church’s touch. The ring finger represents relationships and it is the pastoral ministry that is primarily concerned with our relationships with one another as well as our growing relationship with God. Finally, the little finger is sometimes forgotten. Similarly, teaching is one of the most important ministries within the church, but it is one that is too little appreciated and too often forgotten.

Ephesians talks about these important roles, but what are these roles for? Does Paul tell us that these roles exist to change the world? Listen to the text.

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