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Good morning - it is wonderful to be here this morning.
I am so honored to call this church my home, and all of you family. Church is the family that we choose, there are many many churches, and plenty of reasons that anyone would choose to be a part of some other place - but you have decided to be here, and I am thankful for that. I believe that God has incredible purpose for this church, in this place, at this time. We know that we exist as a church to Glorify God, Equip the saints, and Share the gospel. We talk about those things fairly often - and keep returning to them as a focus, because we don’t want to waste our time here. Those three goals direct everything else that we do.
First and foremost - most importantly - we know that we exist to glorify God. That is why we put such an emphasis on worship in our church. We have to know that coming together benefits us - but it isn’t all about us. We gather together to make great the name of the Lord. And so we schedule and plan things like worship sundays - we had a couple of weeks ago. We devote nearly half of our gathering time together in worship. In my preaching I strive to place Jesus at His appropriate place of honor and exhort you to do the same.
We spend a lot of our resources devoted to that purpose - we want to do it well. From there, we see these two other instructions so often in scripture directed at the church, and so we must give them a great deal of attention as well.
Ephesians 4:11–14 CSB
And he himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into maturity with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness. Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit.
Colossians 1:28–29 CSB
We proclaim him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. I labor for this, striving with his strength that works powerfully in me.
And so today we focus specifically what it means to minister to the saints, how we do it, and what equipping we might need. Let’s pray.
Ministry to the world is important - but this isnt talking about that. The ministry referred to here is to the saints - you, gathered in this room, ministering to you, gathered in this room and in other rooms like it across the world. Hurt people hurt people - healthy people healful people.
How we interact - how we relate - how we respond and behave toward one another should be different than the way that we interact, relate, and respond to the world.
A few weeks ago - we handed out contact cards to be filled out. Those cards had room for you to write a couple of things: your name, your address and phone number, and then at the bottom was a line that virtually everyone left empty. That line asked the question - what area’s of ministry you would like to serve in.
Some of us, left it blank because we are already doing the things we feel called to do.
Some of us left it blank because we don’t know what we are called to do.
Some of us left it blank because we don’t want to be called to do anything at all. Some of you didn’t fill a card out at all, and you need to so that we can share the
We are going to wrestle with those ideas today - because we know that the purpose of this church, my job as pastor - is to equip you for the work of the ministry and to build up the body of Christ.
We all have work to do.
Small church - big deal.
We are uniquely equipped for this time for this place to accomplish the things that God has set out for us to accomplish.
Ephesians 2:10 CSB
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.
Some of us know specifically - I was created, called, gifted and graced to do this.
Take a moment - write that phrase down.
I was created comma called comma gifted comma and graced to do Blank.
There are things that you can fill that blank with - specific things.
And even if there isn’t a specific thing that you know right now… the bible time after time tells us how to relate to one another and how important it is.
We are to love one another - 1 Peter 1:22
1 Peter 1:22 CSB
Since you have purified yourselves by your obedience to the truth, so that you show sincere brotherly love for each other, from a pure heart love one another constantly,
2. We are to be hospitable to one another - accepting one another.
Romans 15:7 CSB
Therefore welcome one another, just as Christ also welcomed you, to the glory of God.
1 Peter 4:9 CSB
Be hospitable to one another without complaining.
3. We are to bear one anothers burdens
Galatians 6:2 CSB
Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
We are to be at peace with one another
1 Thessalonians 5:13 CSB
and to regard them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.
We are to serve one another
Galatians 5:13 CSB
For you were called to be free, brothers and sisters; only don’t use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love.
We are to be kind
Ephesians 4:32 CSB
And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.
We are to be humble
1 Peter 5:5 CSB
In the same way, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. All of you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.
We are to teach one another
Colossians 3:16 CSB
Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you, in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
We are to encourage one another
1 Thessalonians 5:11 CSB
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.
Hebrews 10:24–25 CSB
And let us consider one another in order to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching.
We are to confess our sins to each other
James 5:16 CSB
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.
The phrase one another or each other is written over and over in scripture. You may not have a specific thing that you were given - but you have all of these other instructions that we can work on in the meantime.
Lets go back to that phrase for a moment that I said to write down earlier....
I was Created, Called, Gifted, and graced… to confess my sins to one another.
I was Created, Called, Gifted, and graced… to love one another
I was Created, Called, Gifted, and graced… to teach and encourage each other
I was Created, Called, Gifted, and graced… to be humble, kind, and hospitable people who love Jesus.
How do we do that?
We have to listen and look around. If you want to find a problem you can solve, I got a list of them. Each family, each household, each person here has a thing that they could use your help with.
You just have to listen to what they say. And what the Holy spirit is speaking to you.
The holy spirit, if you listen, is going to point you in the right direction, he is going to give you words to speak, he is going to help you to minister perfectly in the moment.
So many of you keep your stuff so close to your chest that you make it hard for people to help.
And I know why.
It is hard to trust people.
You have been hurt before.
You have been let down by people, maybe in this room, maybe in the church down the street or across town.
You can’t tell people about your garbage - because you have had other nonsense going on.
And yet - we aren’t perfectly ready to accomplish it. The Apostle Paul writes that Jesus specifically gave these offices in the church to help you along the way. Some of you should hold some of those offices. As we get to know you - and you get to know yourself and each other - and we are guided by the Holy Spirit.
The offices of the church exist to equip the church. It isn’t all up to me - or the other teachers in this place. You have to apply what is being taught!
To do that - we have to spend some time together.
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