6 Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor. 7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:6-10 (NIV)
I want to ask you the key question for this day. Are you more interested in being served in the church or are you more interested in being a servant in the church? A first grade teacher asked her class the question, "What do you do to help at home?" One by one the answers came back. One little girl said, "I dry the dishes." One little boy said, "I feed the dog." Another child said, "I sweep the floor." Everybody gave an answer, but one little boy sitting in the back. He didn't say anything. The teacher looked at him and said, "Danny, what do you do to help out at home?" He said, "I stay out of the way!"
I want to ask you another question. What is the secret to greatness? Go to what the places which are seemingly the three most influential voices in our society and see what they say. If you went to Wall Street and asked the question, "What is the secret to greatness?" Wall Street would say, "Money and lots of it." If you were to go to Washington and ask, "What is the secret to greatness?" Washington would say, "Influence and a lot of it." If you were to go to Hollywood and ask, "What is the secret to greatness?" Hollywood would say, "Fame and lots of it."
But the greatest man who ever lived, the man who probably alone deserves to be called "great" in every sense of the word, Jesus Christ, had a very different answer. He said, "Whoever wants to become great must be a servant to others." (Matthew 20:26, GWT)
Success and greatness in the Kingdom of God is far different than what it is on planet earth. If you want to climb to the top of the ladder in God's eyes, you've got to take the rungs of service. Jesus said also, "For even I didn't come to be served, but to serve others..." (Mark 10:45, NLT) The secret to greatness in the Kingdom of God is not how many servants you have, but what kind of a servant you are.
When you study the Bible, you will find the word "ministry" is sometimes, the same as the word "service" and the word "service" is the same as the word "ministry." In the Bible, a minister is simply a servant (see TDNT, 526: leitourgeo)
One of the most misunderstood words of our day is the word "minister", because people use it as a synonym for someone like me who is ordained or theologically trained in a seminary. Not only in Greek do the definitions overlap but you might be surprised to learn that the word "minister" derives from the Latin word for "servant" and is based on the root word "minus" which means "less." Technically a "minister" is someone of a "lesser" rank or status who simply wants to serve.
God never wastes anything. Every spiritual gift and natural ability that you have, God gave it to you to be used in service and ministry. "Each of you has received a gift to use to serve others." (I Peter 4:10, NCV) The good news is that there are more than enough gifts in the church to do everything that God wants the church to do. Do you know what I am looking at today? I am looking at a lot of un-wrapped, unused gifts.
Every Christian is gifted. We all have spiritual gifts. We don't all have the same gifts, but we all have certain gifts that God has given us so we can do what He wants us to do for other people, that is what Paul was saying in Galatians.
Do you have the attitude of a servant? Just like little Danny, it is against our nature to want to serve others. When the average person looks for a church, do you know the question they are usually asking? "How can this church meet my needs?" When you begin to really mature as a Christian, you will begin to ask instead, "How can I be used in this church to meet the needs of others?"
It is not how long you live that matters. It is how you live that matters. -Rick Warren
If I knew of a more significant way to invest my life than to do it in serving Jesus Christ that is what I would be doing, but there isn't. There is no work too small that God doesn't notice it and God doesn't reward it. Today, we want to help you get ready to serve God understanding that member means minister.
Are you more interested in being served in the church or are you more interested in being a servant in the church?
(Note: Rarely do I use another pastor's sermon but this was too good. So you know, today's sermon was drawn largely from the sermon “Member Means Minister” by Rev. James Merritt.)