Encouragement From The Word

Don’t leave it to the professionals

What’s your ministry?

A lot of church people would say, “Ministry?  That’s the minister’s job.”  We pay professionals to teach our children piano lessons, or to bark at us at the gym, so we often assume that ministry is to be left to the “professionals”.  But is that really a biblical model?

The noted Quaker theologian, D. Elton Trueblood, once said, “If you are a Christian, then you are a minister.  A non-ministering Christian is a contradiction in terms.”

Each person who has received the grace to follow Jesus possesses at least one special ability to serve God and build up the church – to minister.  And the word ‘minister’ simply means ‘serve’.  Do you know your spiritual gifts?

Lots of people keep busy in the church, and sometimes, they burn out – not because the work they are doing is not in some way valuable, but because these people may be serving outside of their gifting.  Do you feel burned out?  It could be that you are serving in an area that is not working for the way God wired you up.

If you’re serving in the church and are experiencing the joy of the Lord, as well as seeing spiritual fruit borne, congratulations; you’re serving according to your gifting.  If not, it may be time for a change.  Take a spiritual gift inventory, learn how God has equipped you to serve, and adjust your ministry.

If you’re not doing ministry, though, why not?  It’s not enough to come to church and “be fed”, if you’re not making practical what you’re being fed!  (To get a blunt take on this theme, listen to this clip of one of Amy Grant’s lesser-known songs.)

Do you love Jesus?  Then understand that he has given you abilities to serve him in the church, to minister.  Discern those abilities, those gifts, and put them to work.  Every local church has all the spiritual gifts among its people that are necessary to undertake the work God has planned for that church; we just need to unwrap those gifts!

He makes the whole body fit together perfectly.  As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love” (Ephesians 4.16, NLT).

Encouragement From The Word

Pray for peace. Work for peace.

I imagine you remember what you were doing when you heard the news 14 years ago today, don’t you? I know I do.

I was sitting in an automotive repair shop waiting room, getting an issue dealt with on my vehicle. There was a television on. Whatever was on before broke for a news flash: airplanes were crashing into the World Trade Center in New York City.

That senseless act of terrorism changed the world forever – and probably not for the better.   In a matter of moments, the worldmaxresdefault-2 was no longer the safe place it had been – or, at least, it had been perceived to be. When the ‘all clear’ was sounded and airports and borders reopened, it suddenly became mandatory to take your shoes off before clearing security.

For some, 9/11 became a watershed for inconvenience. For others, it became a rallying cry for change. While westerners watched in horror as the video was played over and over again on the news, Palestinian children rallied in the streets to cheer. In the Middle East, many perceived that the Americans were getting what they deserved.

Why were there such disparate views on one tragic situation?

Some in the Middle East saw the United States as a collective bully. Others saw the US as their saviour. Americans saw the nonsensical loss of life and vowed to gain revenge. Whether that revenge was justly exacted remains a point of disagreement with many.

What we can all agree on is that we live in a different world because of 9/11. “The war on terror” became a new phrase, symbolic in different ways for different people. In a way that not even the Cold War could, this new era has caused us to live on the edge of our seats.

So what is a Christ-follower to do , all these years later?

Pray for peace. Work for peace. Don’t be afraid of those who may think, act, or dress differently than we do – but don’t be afraid to disagree with them, either. Reclaim the old definition of tolerance: make allowance for other people to be wrong. But don’t hate them, or fear them, for it. Learn from others, and pray for them. For when we all rally around the Prince of Peace, there will be peace.

Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.  Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace” (Ephesians 4.2-3, NLT).

Biblical Messages

Connect, Grow, Serve

Our vision for ministry – what God calls us to do, flowing from the Great Commission – at St. Paul’s Church, Nobleton, is to help people connect with God, grow in Christ, and serve in community.  But how does that all happen?

Because, as Andy Stanley reminds us, “vision leaks”, it’s important to be reminded now and again what it is that God has Blue Logocalled us to be as a community.  Based on Ephesians 4.11-24, you can listen to the message here: