We’re in the midst of a 3-week miniseries that is about being Dedicated to the Lord’s purposes through the church… or more accurately, through this church, if here is where God is calling you.
In my life of faith (which is now a 1/3 of my age), I’ve always been involved in mission. I told the story of how I came to faith on August 21st, 1998 at 9:22pm and within 22 hours, there I was—part of a ministry team.
I had friends who were lovingly coaching me to answer that call in my heart and when I, you know, prayed that prayer I was alone with God. But immediately ran to my friends’ house to tell them the good news. They were so excited that they called their small group friends to celebrate with us.
Paul got on the phone and starting yelling, “PRAISE GOD! Man, this is sooo awesome! But dude… you’ve got to get involved in the church NOW. You’re a like a baby right now. You need to get plugged in QUICK. Come to church tomorrow night, we just started rehearsing for a dinner theatre outreach thing… WE NEED YOU!”
Even though I had never met Paul, I went. And then there was I was, 22 hours later, being a part of a ministry project to reach someone else, who like me, was being lovingly coached to answer that call in their heart.
I’m so impressed by how much of Hebrews is about serving. The whole thread about the priesthood in there, is rooted in the idea of being Dedicated to the Lord’s purposes. I took great comfort in this verse which says a lot about the value of serving in the church:
For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. (Hebrews 6:10-12 ESV)
The idea that God is so fair & just, that He will notice & remember your dedication to this mission. I especially connected with that idea of the “work.” Which, in it original form, means “work.” Yep, nothing special. Just the every day doings that help the church move forward (“Among the saints”) and the relationships that are formed while doing them (“the love”).
My prayer is that Restoration be a church that serves together. A church where each can grow in the “works” they’re gifted for and, at the same time, grow in purposeful relationships with each other. That would be nice, wouldn’t it?