Let’s talk about your call to ministry.
- Did you see a vision of the risen Christ like Paul did?
Not a problem.
- Did an apostle or bishop recruit you to serve?
- Did you experience a life crisis that made you explore why you were created?
Not everyone does.
- Are you a man?
About half the world isn’t.
- Did you commit your life to Jesus?
That’s what matters.
John 15:16 (ESV)
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
The Lord knew who he was getting when he called you to be near him. He has a plan for you to serve him from the resources and reservoir that he is giving you.
REFLECT & RESPOND
- Do you think of a call to ministry as limited to a small group of Christians?
- Did you come to your opinion on your own or is it what you’ve heard?
- What are some reasons someone in your shoes might not feel called by Jesus into ministry?
- Do you feel equipped for ministry?
- What would help you?
- If you think it’s appropriate, share some ideas with your Life Group or the staff.
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN THIS SPACE?
One summer I overscheduled myself with camps, mission trips, retreats, and more. I had something big planned every week and thought all would be well because I was doing it for the Lord and for the ministry I was invested in. By the end of the summer, I was physically and emotionally exhausted and my “spiritual tank” was on empty. I had nothing left to give.
YOU CAN’T GIVE WHAT YOU DON’T POSSESS
Your family, your classmates or colleagues, your organization, and your community need you to bring the gospel to them and to model how to follow Jesus for them. Our priority, though, is to receive from Jesus before we try to give to others. There is so much good that we need to do and to be effective we must get filled regularly.
THE LORD BRINGS US NEAR HIM
He has called us to develop a personal history with him. We serve him by receiving from him and spending a portion of what he has given us—time, resources, and attention—directly on God in worship. We serve the Lord, first. Our being with Jesus sustains us and empowers us to follow Jesus into ministry to others.
1 Peter 2:2–5 (ESV)
“Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
REFLECT & RESPOND
- How is your personal history with Jesus?
- Sometimes, we go through seasons that are rich in conscious experiences with the Lord. Other seasons can feel lean on spiritual nourishment and quiet on guidance from the Lord.
What kind of season are you in?
- What is the Lord doing in you that could help you minister to someone else?
Built on the Foundation
Ephesians 2:19–22 (ESV)
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
This Can Even Happen in a Church Family
If they are not in your Life Group or do not serve in a ministry with you, these are the people you:
- give a nonverbal acknowledgement to in the parking lot.
- casually say “How’s it going?” as you pass in the hallway.
- sit next to during a worship gathering without ever knowing their name.
But what if God is building us up for something else?
The Holy Spirit is the engineer of relationships and gifts, bringing people together in combinations to accomplish his good purposes. This way of looking at church assigns God’s purpose to the fellow disciples who happen to be around us.
When we become followers of Jesus and we choose to join a church, the people who make up that church are no longer optional. We are no longer strangers. We are family. Together, we communicate God’s purpose. We are stones built together into a spiritual house, a temple for and by the Holy Spirit.
They are near you and you are near them, on purpose.
What will you do?
REFLECT & RESPOND
- What would it look like for you to believe with all your heart you are called here, to this congregation, simply because this is where you are?
- Are there people you have ignored by choice in the Alsbury family?
It is difficult to be friends with 200 people (much less, all the believers from all the churches). What can you do to apply the idea that we are being built together by the Lord?
- This week, pray that all of us would look out for the good of one another, not just ourselves.
Entrusted with Ministry
Romans 12:3-8 (ESV)
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
If Jesus called you, if he gives you truth and strength to follow him into ministry, if he places you into a family of disciples for you to minister to one another—then what responsibility do you have?
REFLECT & RESPOND
- Do you know how the Holy Spirit has gifted you to minister/serve?
- How can you practice your gift?
- How can grow in maturity and power for ministering to others?