Did I say “tomorrow” in my last post? I meant …um… “next” instead. Sorry for the delay. It has been a crazy week of facing my fears to be sure. God has really stirred up my comfort zone with this new series my pastor is preaching called “The Plunge: Faith in Action.”
You can listen to the series archives by clicking here.
So far, the message series has left people with the feeling of “okay – now I know I need to go deeper with God – now what?” I should probably mention that the climax of the series is on Sunday, Sept 30 – when our church is going to something very unconventional. We’re telling our people that week, “Don’t go to church – BE the church.”
What? What is that supposed to mean?
Well, we’ve contacted multiple charities in our immediate area, including Ronald McDonald house, and a few homeless shelters, and various other organizations who need help. We’ve asked if they can use some help on that Sunday morning. Here’s the controversial part – we’re not going to hold church! That’s right – we’re closing the doors and we’re heading out into the community and serving them.
We are actually going to have corporate worship the night before on Saturday night. Sunday morning is the culmination of the series “The Plunge” and we hope to make some new connections and find out what’s really going on outside our four walls.
Does that strike fear in us?
So many questions arise (will people respond?, what if people show up who didn’t hear about the event? will we loose control of our people? what if someone gets hurt? on and on and on), but we really feel this is what God’s calling us to do.
So – the question today is – are you afraid to serve?
I remember many situations growing up when my church group or my boy scout troup would visit a homeless shelter or an “assisted living” facility (I dont’ think they were called that back then). There were some scarry moments (including one terrifying moment when an elderly woman grabbed ahold of my arm and wouldn’t let go – and orderlies had to pry her hand, which seemed incredibly strong for a woman her age, off my forearm) but for the most part, I felt good to be able to assist those in need.
I’ve done a few of those things since I’m all “grown up” now, but not very many. Am I too busy? Am I concerned about the ROI (return on investment)? Perhaps.
Let’s see what the Bible says about serving others:
“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.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “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'” (Matthew 25:35-40).
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).
Jesus has many teachings about how we are to love and serve others with higher regard for others than for ourselves. Look at the story of the good Samaritan in Luke chapter 10. Jesus even goes as far as to say our greatness is measured by how we serve others (see Mark 10:43).
Lastly, I want to point you to another scripture to consider about serving others:
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever” (1 Peter 4:10-11).
In order to serve others effectively, it’s important to know how you’re wired up.
What? What is that supposed to mean?
I’m talking about your motivational “gifts.” God has given each of us, before we were born, certain gifts that make us unique and provide our motivations and our drive. If you don’t know your gifts, how can you operate effectively? Serve “with the strength God provides” – that’s operating within your gifts. For more info about gifts, check out 1 Corinthians chapters 12 & 13.
There are plenty of other resources – and I’d like to personally recommend you take a Myers-Briggs personality type indicator assesment. I took this in college when pursuing my M.B.A. and it has forever changed the way I look at myself – and has helped me finally understand why I do some of the things I do they way I do them. Want to go deeper?
Consider serving others. Face your fears and just do it! Find out what your gifts are and jump right in!
I know – it goes against our very human nature, but it’s a valid phenomenon nonetheless. Try it – you’ll see. It’s God’s plan for you to be serving others somewhere, somehow. Until you take “The Plunge” you’ll never know what you’ve been missing.