Summary: As part of the church, weare all called to participate in the ministry of the church.
Doing Church as a Team
At Pentecost, the Spirit of God moved among believers and empowered them to pursue the Great Commission, as Jesus commanded. In the New Testament we read of the activities of the early Church and marvel at how quickly the message of the Gospel swept that culture.
In the two thousand years since that time, many great movements of the Spirit have demonstrated God’s great faithfulness to His people. And yet, as the second millennium draws to a close, and the Church takes stock of how well we have handled the legacy that was passed down to us, we can’t help but wonder … and sometimes, to weep.
(THE SECOND COMING OF THE CHURCH, Copyright 1998, George Barna)
Over the decades, we’ve instituted the professional “clergy” and simultaneously, we developed a new breed of churchgoers called “consumer Christians”. (Wayne Cordeiro)
That’s Not My Job!
1. God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.
A. God planed your life.
Acts 17:24–27 - The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27 God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.
B. God planned how you would live.
John 15:16 - You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.
Ephesians 2:10 - For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
C. What then, is our responsibility?
A Christian nurse attended a very sick man confined to the Intensive Care Unit of a hospital. Although only in his early sixties, death seemed to loom closer with each passing day. The nurse would share the Lord with him and pray fervently for his salvation and healing. As the days slipped by, so did his chances for recovery. One evening, his breathing became so labored that the doctors feared he wouldn’t make it through the night. His nurse spent extra hours that evening by his bedside praying for his healing.
The following morning, the nurse arrived back at work expecting to find an empty bed. But to her surprise, instead of an empty bed, she found her patient sitting up in remarkable health, eating breakfast! She was overjoyed!
“Praise the Lord!” she exclaimed! “You’re healed!”
“Yup!” he cheerfully replied. “I feel great. You and your prayers…you healed me!”
“Oh no! I didn’t heal you,” she quickly replied. “God did. And now, it is your responsibility to find out why!”
Mark 8:36 - What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?
2. Who are you? And what are you doing here?
There’s an old story of a rabbi in a Russian city at the turn of the century. Disappointed by a lack of direction and purpose, he wandered out into the chilly evening. With his hands thrust deep into his pockets, he aimlessly walked through the empty streets questioning his faith in God, the Scriptures, and his calling to ministry. The only thing colder than the Russian winter air was the chill within his own soul. He was so enshrouded by his own despair that he mistakenly wandered into a Russian military compound, off limits to any civilians.
Just then the silence of the evening chill was shattered by the bark of a Russian soldier.
“Who are you? And what are you doing here?!” He yelled.
“Excuse me?” replied the rabbi.
“I said, Who are you? And what are you doing here?!”
After a brief moment, the rabbi in a gracious tone so as not to evoke any anger from the soldier said, “How much do you get paid every day?”
“What does that have to do with you?” he retorted.
The rabbi replied, with a tone resembling that of someone who just made a new discovery, “I will pay you the equal sum if you will ask me those same two questions every day: ‘Who are you? And what are you doing here?!’”
Who are you? And what are you doing here?
1 Peter 2:9 - But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.