“And hearing this, the ten became indignant with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:24-28 NASB)
John F. Kennedy said these words in his inaugural address back in 1961: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” 56 years later, it is still a valuable remark. But if I tweak it a bit for church purposes, I come up with: ask not what the Kingdom of God can do for you; ask what you can do for the kingdom of God. If we all approached life in this way, imagine the world we would live in! But we don’t. We know this passage of Scripture. We have probably read it hundreds of times. There seems to be a disconnect between the head that nods in acknowledgment and the feet that move the body to action. The knowledge we have never translates into anything tangible. How do we change this?
The common “church speak” around this issue is raising up leaders. Now there are countless books on the subject but, to make a long topic short, here is the summery. Every Christian is equipped with gifts for ministry by the Holy Spirit. First, we have to figure out what gifts a person has for a ministry. Second, encourage them to exercise their gifts. In time, they should be able to undertake responsibility for the direction and function of a ministry. That’s it! Find them, encourage them, and let them take the lead!
Here are a few examples. In one church there was a woman who was passionate about caring for the elderly and shut-ins. She undertook part of the visitation ministry. Soon she decided to nurture a group of other women, each of whom adopted one or two older women to visit regularly. Other churches have followed a similar idea with new members. Find people with the gift of hospitality and entrust the care of new Christians/Church members to them. They are then able to assimilate them into church life and hold them accountable if they are absent from worship. Exercising our gifts for the glory of God and the building of His Kingdom, that is what we as Christians are to be all about. How can you serve?