Summary: This is the third in a five-part series on why we exist as a church.
May 20, 2001 Luke 10:30-35
¡§We exist to serve¡¨
A boy stopped before a large marble plaque in the church. "What are all those names for?" he asked the minister. ¡§Sonny," said the minister, "those are in memory of all the people who died in the service." The boy replied: "WHICH service, Reverend? The morning or the evening service?"
We laugh at a story like that because it comes from the innocence of a child, and it echoes how some people feel about the time that they spend here. They feel like they are going to die if that preacher doesn¡¦t hurry up and get finished or if he doesn¡¥t quit stepping all over their toes. But that story also points out something about the time that we are spending together right now.
A couple of weeks ago, we began by reminding ourselves that this time in our week from 10:45 to 12:00 is referred to as the worship service. At that time we concentrated on the worship aspect ¡V that we come here to worship God with all of our hearts, souls and minds. But there is another word in that title that we seem to say without even thinking about it ¡V service. This is a worship service. It seems that we have gotten to the point that we say that word service in connection with church in the same way that we would say the word meeting. In fact, as it stands in our minds right now, we could just as easily call this time the worship meeting. But that¡¦s not what it is supposed to be.
Real quick, I want you to open your Bibles to Rom 12:1. Someone who has a KJV Bible, read that verse for us [KJV says ¡§service¡¨]. Emphasize that last word again if you would. Now, someone who has a NIV Bible, read the same verse. Read that last word for us one more time [NIV says ¡§worship¡¨]. Is there a problem here? NO! The same word in the original can mean both worship and service. Worship of God produces service toward Him and toward man that He created. An act of service toward God or toward men in God¡¦s name is actually an act of worship toward God. Jesus said that. (Mat 25:34-36,40 NIV) "Then the King will say to those on his right, ’Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’¡K"The King will reply, ’I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Service and worship go hand in hand with one another. You cannot have one without the other.
And that brings us to our mission statement ¡V why we exist as a church. Go ahead and get that out from wherever you have stashed it. If you don¡¦t have one, there are more here on the front table. Let¡¦s see how much of it you can say without looking. New Life Baptist Church exists to worship God with all our hearts, souls and minds; teach people how to grow in their knowledge of God and how to live in obedience to Him. And that brings us to today. New Life Baptist Church exists to serve Christ, one another and our community.
A few years ago [a pastor] was traveling and stopped at a service station for some fuel. [You know it was a few years ago if they stilled called ¡§gas stations¡¨ ¡§service stations¡¨] It was a rainy day, yet the station workers were diligently trying to take care of the customers. [He] was impressed by the first-class treatment and fully understood the reason when [he] read this sign on the front door of the station:
Why Customers Quit
3% move away
5% other friendships
9% competitive reasons (price)
14% product dissatisfaction
68% quit because of an attitude of indifference toward them by some employee!
Let’s take just a little while to evaluate our church and the way we respond to the people God sends through our doors. What kind of servants are we, and what kind of service do we render? In order to evaluate ourselves, we¡¦re going to take a look at a familiar story, and see if we can¡¦t make application from that story to ourselves and our church. Turn with me to Luke 10.
1. Service opportunities are all around you. (Luke 10:30)