I’ve been teaching a class at our church called The Church in the World Today. It’s a course on the local church. We’re asking, and trying to answer, questions like; What is the purpose of the church? As a local church are we doing what we’re suppose to be doing? How effective are we as a group of believers? The class is designed not only to teach what the Bible says about the church but to examine how true to the Word and how effective we are as a church. You might say that it’s an internal review.
Sunday we discussed the issue of serving and I want to share one thought with you from that class that I think is worth passing on. One of the purposes of the church (by the way, I’m not talking about the building. The church is us – believers) is to serve. Robert Saucy in his book, The Church in God’s Program, wrote, the ministry of the New Testament church is in reality the ministry of Christ. The church ministers because of what Christ has done for it; but, in another sense, it ministers as the continuation of Christ’s ministry. Think about that for a moment. The point that he makes is that the way Christ ministers today is through believers. We have the awesome and unique privilege of continuing the ministry that Christ began. Not that we can do it in the redemptive sense that He did, nor can we do it as well as He did. But we can do Christ’s ministry.
I don’t know what that does for you, but I’m in awe that Christ would even allow me to do His ministry. He didn’t ask the angels to do it. He allows me to do it. He has entrusted the single most important job in the world to the foolish, the weak and the insignificant (to borrow from the Apostle Paul). Only God would do that.
Beyond that, it makes me realize the importance of what I do every time I serve. Sometimes we look at serving as a chore or as something we wish we didn’t have to do. But when we serve we are doing what Christ would do if He was here. That gives our service meaning and significance. It doesn’t matter if it’s teaching a Sunday School class, cooking a meal for a sick neighbor, changing dirty diapers in the nursery or sweeping the floor. Our service for Christ is His service for others. That makes whatever I do for Christ important.
Christ is ministering today to people from all different backgrounds, walks of life, ethnic groups and social-economic classes. He is doing it through Christ-followers. That is the only way He is doing it. How well did He minister today? Only you and I can answer that question.
Even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve . . . (Mark 10:45).
Stay in the Word