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Leaving Our Ministries

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series review (leaving good things behind - started with Pentecost)
Philippians 3:7 NIV
But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.
Baptists - no food in church - can you imagine a church w/o desserts? go to quaker church w/grandma for birthday cake on Christmas and Pentecost Sunday: Pentecost is the birthday of the Church - followers of Jesus Christ were filled with the Spirit of God;
go to quaker church w/grandma for birthday cake on Christmas and Pentecost Sunday:
no food in church - go to church w/grandma for birthday cake on Christmas and Pentecost Sunday: kid in a quaker church
Pentecost is the birthday of the Church - followers of Jesus Christ were filled with the Spirit of God;
golf course: I had the beliefs, but they were just in my head; they became real to me; I didn’t just know what I believed, I knew God personally; being filled with the Holy Spirit does that
golf course: I had the beliefs, but they were just in my head; they became real to me; I didn’t just know what I believed, I knew God personally; being filled with the Holy Spirit does that
that’s what happened to the disciples of Jesus - Jesus became real; they took their relationship with God to a whole new level; rather than getting comfortable and settled, they had this incredible joy, power boldness to go anywhere and do anything in the name of Jesus

Why Listen? Faith become boring? Time to take that next step into ministry; dissatisfied? take the 2nd, 3rd step;

f
growing, maturing as discipleship means change - taking that first, second step;
3.
problem student; now ordained - pic with 3 pastors, we joked that we had one thing in common: she made our lives difficult (e.g. obnoxious; rude; mean; sarcastic; disrespectful - hardly leadership material; but she wanted to follow Jesus so she took a huge step - we see rude, obnoxious people; Jesus sees as disciples; mission trip; worked hard; end of week worshipping; testifying; still rude, obnoxious, but God was at work; she took that bold step - uncomfortable ministry
(examples of change: priorities; God is first; your ministry
Pentecost: disciples took step after step in ministry (); Discipleship means taking new, bold steps
Taken a first step? mission trip? service? healing broken relationship? overwhelmed with life; fear; think we need more down time than we actually do
left the bad behind, but also the good; church/synagogue is good, but was no longer the focus, wealth is good, but no longer the focus;
Taken that second step? Third step? The next step? Off to a good start (small group, service; prayer); what’s next? answering the call - short term, long term
found a new purpose; following Jesus doesn’t just mean better behavior, getting our lives right - leaving behind bad things; following Jesus means sometimes leaving behind good things; what is God calling you to leave behind? what changes are you being called to make? (examples of change: priorities; God is first; your ministry
this series is about how discipleship includes change, growth; not becoming settled, comfortable; if we aren’t experiencing change, not growing, becoming comfortable with way things are, we may not be doing bad things, but we are falling short of discipleshipleaving behind ministry: not doing ministry??
Pentecost was the birthday of the Church - when it first came into existence; from that moment on the disciples way of life was never the same; I’ve tried to demonstrate that when God through the Holy Spirit shaped the church
Philippians 3:7 NIV
But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.
leaving behind ministry: not doing ministry??
really our problem? not in ministry? not serving? missed opportunities to give;
reasons why we aren’t in ministry: busy time (caring for sick relatives; medical challenges; don’t know where to help; want to but not confident;
negative reasons: we have convinced ourselves that we need more down time than actually need (the opposite of burnout, when we don’t realize we need a break);
problem youth ordained, picture with her pastors (3 of them) we joked that we had one thing in common: she made our lives difficult; actually: we watched her grow (both) changed on a mission trip; still experienced her as obnoxious, mean, (we can still be annoying while going through spiritual growth) but she talked about Jesus for the first time; see her serving, studying, changing
where would her life be without meeting Jesus on the mission field?
life changed because of selfless ministry; not experiencing God - try serving Him (working in kitchen, get to know people really well)
taking that step of faith; doing ministry is a powerful step - get to know God that way; imagine it as working with God, not for God; you are on God’s worksite, God’s ministry; get to know God when you work close to Him
the problem with not doing ministry - you miss that mission trip with God;
How do we know when it is time to take that next step?
We know we need to take that next step because: 3 ways
3 ways
1. The needs have changed (even when successful) or new needs have arisen
Acts 6:1 NIV
In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.
e.g. monument church: RABC; VBS; all white church visiting all black people; teaching - white teachers teaching black students; okay? not attracted to their church
e.g. monument church: RABC; VBS; all white church visiting all black people; teaching - white teachers teaching black students; okay? not attracted to their church; did they are good at, but not what was needed.
e.g. shooting, large church neighborhood; prayer vigil not held at church; successful, but not missional; blind to the needs of the community; needs weren’t church programs; violence, drug problem; rather than address a confusing, complicated new need; rather than retooling, changing their mission, did what they were good at; but not what was needed
e.g. Pioneer girls: don’t pray, look!
the danger of success
the danger of success
sticking to a successful ministry = routine, habit, overlooking specific needs, needs change; here it gets to bad that we have a racial issue (racism?)
Acts 6:1 NIV
In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.
2. Our calling has changed.
2. Our calling has changed.
2. Our calling has changed.
not leaving behind good for more pleasant
Acts 6:2 NIV
So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables.
Our calling has changed.
left good for painful privilege greater
Our calling has changed. We’ve done good, important work, but God is pushing us out. Apostles are trying to do it all, and realizing they can’t.
See our workplaces and neighborhoods (planted), everywhere also calling - you are put there, it is a calling
How do we know?
Burned out - take a break, or stop working against your calling.
Take a break? Stop working against your calling!
Stop trying to follow your calling while sticking to your old one.
Really good at it - do it in your sleep; routine
have the gifts
Either way- invite others into ministry
The next opportunity is more difficult.
get rid of it because we’re tired, or want to follow Jesus on the mission field (he doesn’t stay put, neither should we)
Acts 6:2 NIV
So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables.
overextending
e.g. good things we do, need to move on...
no gifts or passion? do you have a ministry or a jobwe are called to our neighborhoods and workplaces - not opportunities; we are called
we are called to our neighborhoods and workplaces - not opportunities; we are called
tired? take a break? or maybe our calling has changed - exhausting to work against our calling; really good at it? routine? to the point you can do it in your sleep? calling has changed to something more difficult; change of calling means difficult, not easier
who is going to do this if I don’t? 7 people to fill slots? filled with the spirit
making a job a ministry (HS has called you) - caring for an aging parent, children, filling in SS,
this is mine. enjoy it,
3. we do our best ministry through pain
2 Corinthians 1:4 NIV
who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
apostles went on to suffer, not get a master’s degree, get a new title; God’s promotion might seem like a demotion - die painful deaths
ignore our new calling because it’s too painful? We do our best work through our failures, our disappointments; our pain - if we share it
e.g. prison ministry for parents and spouses;
want to find your calling, don’t just look at your gifts, look at your pain; pain is a resource
painful funerals -
we do our best work while we are suffering - if we share our pain with others; thank God for making lives better, successful surgery; can actually backfire - what about my suffering?
2 Corinthians 1:4 NIV
who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
2 corinthians
share our blessings - share our sufferings? answered prayers? unanswered prayers?
are you hurting and want a break from ministry? your pain is a resource for ministry, not a reason to take a break
how can God use your pain to help others? share our pain with others in pain
1 Peter
1 Peter 4:13 NIV
But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
James 1:2 NIV
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
Stephen died on the job - waiting on tables turned to preaching which made enemies; even then he prayed for those while they were killing him -
Romans 5:3 NIV
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
Stephen died on the job - waiting on tables turned to preaching which made enemies; even then he prayed for those while they were killing him -
Acts 7:60 NIV
Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.
How to connect with people if all we do is talk about answered prayers and success?
left good for painful privilege greater
left good for painful privilege greater
Conclusion
time to grow; take that next step;
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