This last Sunday I preached on living out our calling (on youtube here) . We looked at what I think is one of the most important and powerful passages in the New Testament (Eph. 4:1-16). It gives the pattern and call for growing as Christians and a growing as a church. Sometimes we need to be called afresh to “grow up”! One of the keys I shared to growing up and living out our calling is for each of us to serve with our gifts. I don’t know any better way for Christians to live a fulfilling and joy-filled life than living out our calling to serve with our gifts.
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to join a group of pastors and spend a morning with one of the most well-known pastors in the world who leads a church of over 30,000 people. We spent four hours drilling this veteran pastor with questions. As I listened and took notes, the most powerful moment for me came when he was asked about his friendship with Bono, the lead singer of the band U2. I could tell he was somewhat embarrassed by the question; he clearly didn’t want to spend his time with us gloating about his famous friendships. He paused for a long time and then said, “Every morning when I wake up, I get on my knees. I pray and ask God to guide my day and use me to serve and bless others. Then, as I go through my day, I don’t just do the jobs on my list of things to do. I keep an ear open to the Holy Spirit and an eye open to what moments God is answering that prayer and giving me a special opportunity by His Spirit to serve or bless someone.” Then he told us a quick story about how that had happened that very morning and then, as tears started streaming down his face, he said, “I love being a Christian. I love the adventure of waking up every day and asking God to use me and seeing what He does.” I sat there thinking: When I get as old as he is and have served God for a few more decades, I hope I will still be living in the daily adventure of serving others in simple, serendipitous ways and seeing God use me to be a blessing. I want to live Christianity as a daily adventure of serving in the strength of the Spirit – whether it’s serving with a smile, a genuine caring touch, a visit with a homeless person or whether it’s some bigshot type thing like preaching to thousands - I want to live the adventure of serving Jesus every day! I hope you do to.
Of course, a big part of living that adventure is knowing what your gifts are so you can use them to serve. Do you know what your gifts are? In my message on Sunday I offered five questions that can help you know what your gifts are in the body of Christ. I intentionally made them simple and straightforward. I want to encourage you this week to read these questions and think through how God might want to use you every day - both in our church and with every person you come in contact with in our community.
Here are the five questions:
1. What’s in my hand? (Time, treasure, talents - all that I have is a gift from God - pretty simple definition of my gifts!)
2. What is the race right in front of me? (What is the sphere of influence I am in?)
3. What needs do I see? (And where do I see things that need improving? What am I tempted to complain about?)
4. What ability has God given me that builds others up? (Read Romans 12:3-8 and 1 Cor. 12:4-11)
5. In light of all this, what can I do to help my church? (This is living out Ephesians 4:12 “to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up”)
Work through these questions and then offer yourself to God to serve and see what an adventure your life can become! It won’t always be easy or fun, but it will be meaningful and powerful. Thank you for being the church (not just attending) – when you step up and do your part we all win! We are not spiritual consumers; we are spiritual contributors. The church does not exist for us. We are the church and we exist for the world.
I hope you are having a fantastic summer and look forward to seeing you all Sunday! It’s been so awesome to see people committed to coming to church and inviting others right through the summer. I love being on a team of people like Victory who are working together to reach our friends, neighbors, co-workers and family for Christ. Let’s keep on doing church as a team!
- Pastor Dan
August 27 – Baptism and Kickoff Sunday – this is a Sunday you don’t want to miss! If you are interested in being baptized reply to this e-mail and I will give you instructions from there.
New Ministry Starting: Saturday Morning Cleaning Team – we are forming a team of people who will clean the church building weekly, bi-weekly or monthly (depending on your availability). If you are interested in serving in this ministry please reply to this e-mail and I will get you in touch with the leader.
September 11 – Alpha class launches – a 10 week series of interactive sessions that engages people in conversations about faith, life and Jesus. This course is perfect for inviting a friend to and for getting a better understanding of the Christian faith. Our goal is that every person at Victory has taken it.
September 17 – 101 Discovery Lunch – This one hour class includes a complimentary lunch and takes place immediately following the 11am service. It shares the heart, vision, beliefs and values of our church. If you are new to our church, this course is an essential for you.
Men’s Conference – October 27-28 – Men’s conference is a powerful time for every man to be encouraged in their faith and challenged to become the men God has called us to be. Dr. George Hill, founder and president of Victory Churches International is speaking this year. This is an awesome opportunity to hear from one of the most influential Christian leaders in Canada. Register at www.victorymensconference.com