And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (Ephesians 4:11-16 ESV)
God equips the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ – the church.
We in ministry strive to encourage our Christian brothers and sisters to follow God’s call on their lives to serve others. This includes service within the church. As our church grows, the work of ministry to the congregation also grows. And likewise, the opportunity for service grows. The problem is that many of our congregation simply don’t have the time in their busy schedules to take on such ministry. Or they are simply unaware of the needs within the church that they could be contributing toward.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV)
We have been given a clear path illuminated by God to build His kingdom here in this place where He has planted us. This is not simply the responsibility of our Pastor and staff. It is the responsibility of each and every member of the body of Christ. Read through 1 Corinthians 12 & 13, Ephesians 4, etc. Paul speaks over and over again about how we are all members of the Body of Christ – the church. Each member has their own gifts, callings, purpose within the body for the betterment of the entire body. Christ is our head, holding us all together in one faith and directing the actions of the body. We are each indwelt by God’s Holy Spirit to empower us to do His work.
If my heart’s desire is for God to be glorified and for my life to be poured out for His service, then I must be daily seeking God’s will for me – for today; fully submitted to His wishes and His plan for my life. It is often scary. It is often difficult – too difficult for me to accomplish. It is often a sacrifice – one to which I struggle to say “Yes Lord”. But when I take all of those self filled thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ Jesus, and when I get my eyes focused back on God my Father, then I can walk out on that water of the unknown and uncertain to be a vessel for Him to use. He magnifies the little that I have to offer and He will do all those things which I cannot do on my own. But I must be willing to be used. I must be willing to lay aside my “to-do” list, my wants, my flesh, my dreams. I must be willing to fully trust God, knowing that His ways are much, much better than my ways. I must be willing to be different, set aside, laughed at, hated, and for some, even killed.
God is waiting for you beloved. He is calling you to trust in Him and to obey Him. You have a responsibility within the church to serve and love others in ministry. What is God asking you to let go of so that He can give you something better? What is God trying to prune from your life? Learn how to only say “Yes” to what God has asked you to do. Don’t fill your calendar so full that God has no place in it. Don’t come to church empty and needing to be filled. Walk in to church filled with God’s Holy Spirit and Love ready to serve others in His name.
There is much work to be done. The work of encouraging, loving, teaching, rebuking, establishing, sharing the gospel, inviting others in, hospitality, generosity, worship, brick by brick, soul by soul, God wants to use the life He has given you, and the talents and gifts that He has equipped you with, and the resources He has made available to you for His purposes not for your comfort alone. Are you willing to answer His call?
And the LORD came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.” (1 Samuel 3:10 ESV)
God loves you. He has purpose for your life – greater than any of your dreams. Do you trust Him? Will you obey and walk daily with Him? It may not be easy, but it is certainly worth it. He is with you. He is for you. He is worthy. He is faithful. Trust Him. Speak LORD for your servant hears. Go with God. Take up your cross beloved. Be encouraged. Press on.