Helpful MinistrySeries: Evangelism & Church Growth
Being a “small” or “large” church really doesn’t matter. God can effectively work in both. In the New Testament, the focus was not on #’s. Rather, the focus was on active members engaged in helpful ministry. Real people, guided by authenticity and integrity, looking for opportunities to share their personal story of the saving power of Jesus. Real people … engaged in life changing, helpful ministry. Helpful ministry is simply active participation in the lives of others. This is one of the most appealing and attention-getting things we can do.
We all have a ministry:
- Ephesians 4.11-12 - evangelists, shepherds, and teachers.... equip the saints for the work of ministry.
- The work of ministry is the use of your God-given talents and gifts to help other people.
- 1 Corinthians 12.4-6 focuses on three things listed by Paul:
- 12.4 - varieties of gifts: These are supernaturally endowed gifts by the Holy Spirit where a person was given a supernatural ability to serve God. 1 Corinthians 12.8-10; Romans 12.3, 8. These types of gifts have passed away, 1 Corinthians 13.8-11.
- 12.5 - varieties of service. (Ministries NASB). We might call these the “general ministry” of every Christian. This references the obligations we all have to minister to others.
- Romans 15.4 - admonishment; Hebrews 10.24 - encouragement; Colossians 4.5-6; 1 Peter 3.15 - provide testimony for Christ; 1 Thessalonians 5.14 - help others.
- 12.6 - varieties of activities. These are personal, unique talents God has given us naturally. See Romans 12.6-8; Colossians 4.17; 2 Tim. 4.5; 1 Peter 4.11.
Why this is so important:
- Will we each focus on at least one person to serve?
- Fred Rogers: If you’ll look for the helpers, you know there is hope.
- God is calling us to run toward the trouble … make ourselves vulnerable … and be the helpers, the rescuers who point the way ...
What this looks like: (Three passages to examine)
- Romans 12.9-15 - We’re the helpers … running toward the trouble.
- Galatians 6.2 - bear one another’s burdens; 6.9-10 - do good to everyone.
- 1 Thessalonians 5.14:
- Admonish the idle … See also 2 Timothy 4.2 - exhort. Imagery is of one coming alongside to help.
- Encourage the fainthearted… This is positive .. “You can do it.” See Hebrews 10.24.
- Help the weak… Active participation in the lives of others. Acts 20.35: hard work.
- Be patient with them all.
- Helpful ministry is active members committed to winning hearts through heartfelt relationships. This is what will attract the person living in a secular world who may just be tempted to believe.
- Christians who are committed to being rescuers … who run toward trouble and not away from it. Will you be that person?
- If you’ve run here today for help… you’re in a safe place … and here you are surrounded by many helpers. There is hope … by the power … of Jesus.