Summary: 1- The church is a serving body 2- The church is a fortified body 3- The church is a growing body
INTRO.- ILL.- A little girl became restless as the preacher’s sermon dragged on and on. Finally, she leaned over to her mother and whispered, "Mommy, if we give him the money now, will he let us go?"
I’m sure that’s probably how some people feel about most preachers and the church. "All they want is money!"
ILL.- The preacher was wired for sound with a lapel mic, and as he preached, he moved around the platform, jerking the mic cord as he moved around.
Then he moved to one side, getting wound up in the cord and nearly tripping before jerking it again. After several circles and jerks, a little girl in the third pew leaned toward her mother and whispered, "If he gets loose, will he hurt us?"
No, he won’t hurt you. Although when I was kid I thought preachers were strange and didn’t have much to do with them. And they are still strange!
What’s so important about the church? What’s the big deal about having a church and going to church? That’s probably what many people outside the church think.
ILL.- In a door-to-door survey conducted by one church in a city the question was asked: if you don’t go to church, why? The five biggest reasons: 1) Boring, 2) Irrelevant, 3) Asking for money all the time, 4) I’m too busy already, 5) I feel awkward at church.
Money. Some churches may be asking for money too much of the time. I don’t like that and don’t believe we should. I believe that if people believe in the Lord and in the church they will support the church and the mission of the church without having to be bugged about it all the time.
Boring. Yes, most people can’t stand boring whether it’s a TV show, ball game or church. I don’t believe the church has to put on some kind of carnival act, but I do think she has to be faithful to God and His Word. Since praise and strong preaching will make a difference.
Irrelevant. That depends on your viewpoint. I think that what the church presents and preaches is most relevant thing there is. We present the truth about life and death. You can’t get any more relevant than that. I’m too busy. That’s true for most. People are busier than ever, but they won’t be too busy to get sick, to have a surgery or to die. When illness or death strikes a family then perhaps they won’t be too busy to seek the Lord.
I feel awkward at church. I do too, but I’m here anyway. How do we make people feel less awkward? We exhibit friendliness and kindness. Perhaps you’ve been to a church or two that exhibit little of these. People won’t come back and stay long in an unfriendly or unkind church.
Boring. Asking for money. Irrelevant, etc. These things are what some think about the church, but hopefully, we look at the church from a different perspective. Hopefully, we see the good and the best about the church, because there is so very much good with the church and in the church!
PROP.- In our text, I see what’s important about the church.
1- The church is a serving body
2- The church is a fortified body
3- The church is a growing body
I. THE CHURCH IS A SERVING BODY
11It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
To prepare God’s people for works of service. We’re here to serve anyway we can.
ILL.- A Baptist minister rushed down to the train station every single day to watch the Sunset Limited go by. There was no chore he wouldn’t interrupt to carry out this ritual. Members of his church considered his ritual very juvenile and worthless and asked him to stop. “No,” said the minister, “I won’t give it up. I preach your sermons, teach in Sunday School, bury your dead, marry your young people, run your charities, chair every drive that pleases you to conduct. I won’t give up meeting that Southern Pacific train every day. I love it! It’s the only thing in this town that I don’t have to push!”
We should not have to be pushed, paddled, prodded, or persuaded to serve. WE SHOULD BE WILLING TO SERVE. The Lord needs willing workers and servers.
Many people have that old mentality of: "Let George do it." But the problem is we’re running out of George’s.