Summary: We are not passengers on a ship, but servants and stewards on God’s gospel ship.
The S.S. Consider
What have you considered lately? The Bible tells us to consider …
· Ravens & Lillies - Luke 12:24,27
· Dead to sin - Romans 6:11
· Sufferings not comparable - Romans 8:18
· Goodness & Severity of God - Rom 11:22
· One another stirring up love - Heb10:24
· Christ who endured - Heb 12:3
Oh, there is a lot to consider these days.
Have you ever considered yourself an oarsman and an assistant to the Captain of the ship?
Elton Trueblood suggests, "The Laity are not the passengers of a ship, but members of the crew."
Consider it so … for you are!
1 Corinthians 4:1-2 Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.
Welcome aboard to The S.S. Consider … the only ship that sails with God as its Captain.
Consider means … to evaluate, take inventory, conclude.
As the world looks at us and makes a sizeable consideration of our life and work … let us live and work as servants and stewards on God’s gospel ship of grace.
1. Consider Us Servants of Christ
Servant: assistant; to row; under-oarsman (not doulos as in bond servant)
As an under-oarsman you don’t stand on the bow and yell orders. You grab a paddle and start rowing at the command of the Captain.
The task of these slaves was to pull the oars to propel the ship forward.
In the past 2000 Summer Olympics I watched the team rowing events. Those guys and gals were incredible in the fact they were not only rowing, but in synchronization stroke for stroke.
As they gave their service to the team (crew) there was:
· Subordination: under authority
· Participation: everyone rowing
· Cooperation: rowing together
As under-oarsman servants we are called to help row the gospel ship of grace toward others as …
· Ministers of the Word. Lk 1:2
· Ministers of the things seen & revealed. Acts 26:16
· Assistants to those who proclaim the Word. Acts 13:5
As every member rows (serves) together we move the Church forward in its … purpose and power.
Consider yourself to be a servant of Christ.
2. Consider Us Stewards of God
Steward: manager; overseer
What God has given to us … the gospel message … we are to manage.
Gospel management is not merely doctrinal purity as most want to see it, but being a good manager of the gospel is to spread it abroad. The promotion of the gospel must move beyond us.
The great and interesting part of managing the gospel is the differences of giftedness God has given us for the promotion of the good news of Jesus Christ. We all have a gift, a means or measure to be used.
1 Peter 4:10-11 NLT God has given gifts to each of you from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Manage them well so that God’s generosity can flow through you. 11 Are you called to be a speaker? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Are you called to help others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then God will be given glory in everything through Jesus Christ. All glory and power belong to him forever and ever. Amen.
"When mutual ministry is emphasized and a system of shared ministry is developed, an amazing multiplication take many forms - all of them significant. More persons are won to Christ. More believers are nurtured in the faith." - Dale Galloway, Building Teams in Ministry
As stewards … managers of God’s truth we are not to become complacent but to move into new waters stretching out our sails to reach those out on the high seas of life.
Last week at our associational Evangelism Conference John Marshal pastor of 2nd Baptist Church in Springfield, Missouri said, "The greatest detriment to evangelism is our church buildings."
We’ve become "home bound bodies!" We like to stay at home … in the boat!
Here is the peril we face as the Church:
"The longer a church has been in existence, the more its resources go toward its own preservation rather than toward outreach and evangelism. Our tendency is to design ministries that meet our own needs as opposed to the needs of those who have not yet entered the kingdom." - Alan Nelson
As servants and stewards our purpose is never to be:
I read this week in an email titled, "Misplaced Love"
We get so focused on doing what is "right", that we miss doing what is right. It reminds me of the insurance conference at the headquarters for Met Life in New York City, where the top producers convened. During the trip, one salesman sold a policy to the elevator operator. The employee said that in all the years he worked at the headquarters, not one salesman ever asked if he wanted insurance!