Decisions, actions, and the words we speak are birthed from our belief system. All possess beliefs about who God is, who we are, and our purpose in this life. Christian discipleship is, at the core, an alignment of our belief system with the thoughts and commands of our Lord and Savior. So, when something goes awry in the foundation of a Christian’s thinking, there are a number of cracks that immerge.
One such crack that becomes exposed is the lack serving. Pastors can say that every Christian has a place of service in the church. At our church, we have a belief: “God brought you here for a purpose; and He has a place for you to serve.” Other churches use a slogan that is some variation of “Every member is a minister and every activity is a ministry.” These are great for banners, but do they permeate the belief of every person in our churches?
The theological issue here is the concept of calling. When Jesus called the original disciples, He certainly was calling them to salvation. He was also calling them to serve. As Jesus met with Paul for a life-changing miracle on the Damascus Road, He also had a task in mind. Jesus died on the cross and God raised Him from the dead to set us free from the penalty of sin. Yet, He saved us for a purpose in this life. Ephesians 2:8-10 explains: “For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are His creation—created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.” Many Christians have memorized verses 8-9 but have forgotten the natural result of salvation found in verse 10.
At the core, the issue of calling is a willingness of a person to submit to the Lordship of Jesus. Os Guinness explains that this calling is two-fold. “Our primary calling as followers of Christ is by Him, to Him, and for Him… Our secondary calling, considering who God is as sovereign, is that everyone, everywhere, and in everything should think, speak, live and act entirely for Him.” (The Call) Henry Blackaby states, “[God’s] call to us is not merely so we can go to Heaven when we die, but so that we can begin knowing Him, walking with Him, and serving Him from the time of salvation and throughout eternity.” (Called and Accountable) Christians simply cannot believe that they love Christ and remain uninvolved with His mission to “seek and save the lost.” (see Luke 19:10)
How is this a leadership issue? A part of the calling of leadership is to help people think biblically. From the moment of salvation, we have to teach people that they are saved to serve. We have to invest deeply into the lives of the people we lead. We have to help them connect with the work that the Holy Spirit wants to do in their lives. This includes their calling to ministry service. Teaching others what we have learned is the commission of Christ: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
You may want to click on the subscription link to the right to get the updates delivered to your email.
Also you may want to view past topics on volunteer ministry by visiting the BiG IdEaS link.