Top Ten Reasons to Get Involved in Kingdom Work
- When you stay home, you get too many telemarketing calls.
- Your family could use a break from you.
- You might need to help yourself some day.
- It’s hard to win a game of solitaire.
- Soap operas all sound alike.
- If you don’t go out each day, you get old.
- Why let your boss have all the fun in life?
- The car needs a workout.
- Your mom would be proud of you.
- Who cares about money?
— Unknown Submitted by Joy Pople, Baldwinsville Volunteer Center, Baldwinsville NY
I once heard a Baptist preacher say, “There are two things I would never want to be. The front pew of a Baptist church or the third verse of a Baptist hymn because neither is ever used.” As a Lutheran, our front row doesn’t suffer too much wear and tear either.
We have an innate desire—even a need, you could say—to be useful and to be used. Most disgruntled employees are disgruntled because they feel that their employer isn’t maximizing their skills. People want to be helpful, and they want to be used. Ask any player in the NFL if he would rather be the highest paid back-up or the lowest-paid starter, and the overwhelming majority would say, “Put me in coach, I’m ready to play.”
Everyone Has Something To Offer
God is calling you to be useful. The harvest wants you to be useful, and in Ephesians 4 Paul teaches us about how God seeks to use each one of us. Listen to his words.
(v. 7) He [God] has given each one of us a special gift according to the generosity of Christ. Eph 4:7
The word translated gift can also be translated grace or even ministry. One commentary I read said this verse can be translated, “to each of us ministry has been given…” [The NIV Application Commentary, Ephesians, Klyne Snodgrass]
Paul is talking about our usefulness. He’s saying, “As a member of the body of Christ, you have been given a special gift, a special grace, a special ministry, that Jesus designed especially for you. You have been equipped and empowered by the King of the Universe to accomplish this mission.”
A TEAM OF LEADERS…
Whether your gift is or isn’t obvious it exists. To help you maximize your gift or ministry, Paul teaches that God has given the church a team of leaders whose job it is to prepare you, train you and release you for ministry. Once you have been sent, you go with a clear message, shout to the world in word and action that the reign of Jesus Christ has begun. Christ and His church are ministering to a hurting and a lost world. This is how Paul said it:
(v. 11) He is the one who gave these gifts to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ… Eph 4:11
God’s plan for the kingdom. Our ministry should reflect Christ’s example and compassion for the lost. God has a plan for you, a ministry for you. He has given you a special gift to accomplish it. The Holy Spirit gives you the power to achieve it. Maybe your ministry exists within the parameters of this local church, but your kingdom impact expands far beyond your local flock or your established ministries organization. Look around you. Kingdom work occurs beyond our limited boundaries. Impact happens in the workplace, or in your neighborhood, or even halfway around the world. Don’t put God into tiny boxes and then sit on the lid. God is bigger than that, the kingdom is greater than that. You are more important than that.
You are useful. You are valuable to God. You can be used by God and His Church to help accomplish God’s mission. He has a place for you to serve him, and he has given you the grace you need to do it. The strength you need to accomplish. He has also given you a community of believer around you to encourage in it. And all the gifts necessary to achieve it. So never lose hope in living out the mission you were called to fulfill.