As always, let’s start this morning with a simple prayer:
Lord Jesus Christ, speak to me.
For the last seven days I’ve been using the Core Values of The Bridge to guide the devotions. Today I will cover the last of our eight core values. Just as a reminder, these values serve as a guide to our church. When we think about adding programs or ministries or activities to our church, we have to ask ourselves, “Does this keep with our core values?” I hope you share these values and can use them as a guide for your own life.
“Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant…Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” 1 Corinthians 12:1,7
The last of our eight core values is:
Every Member has a Ministry.
We value using spiritual gifts for service.
Have you ever been on a youth trip in a church van? If you have, you likely have many memories! Some great memories, some frustrating memories, and some that smell! I’ve been on a lot of youth trips as a former youth pastor. And inevitably, there was always a problem with the van on every trip. One particular trip, we needed to drive to a location out of state about 6 hours away. About an hour into our trip, one of my fellow youth workers asked, “Do you hear that?” I didn’t here anything. And then, BAM! The back, passenger side tire blew out. Fortunately, with a full van and hauling a loaded trailer, I was able to maintain control of the van and get to the side of the road safely. Now, I know how to change a tire. But every vehicle is unique. I was faced with finding where the jack was located on the van, finding the spare tire, how to remove the spare tire, where does the jack go to lift the van, etc. If it were up to me to have figured out how to do all those things on that van, I would still be a youth pastor because I would never have figured it out. But, enter Kevin. My good friend Kevin. We call him Fleegle – that’s his last name. Kevin was driving another van behind us. He pulls off the road behind us, jumps out of the van and immediately gets to work changing the tire. He knows exactly where everything is located and what to do. BAM. New tire installed. And we’re on the road again. Thank you Jesus! No, really. Thank you Jesus! If it weren’t for Kevin, I’d still be on the side of I-40, looking for that jack.
So what’s with this story? Every member has a ministry. God has shaped us all in a certain way. He has given each of us gifts and abilities to serve Him, each other, and our churches. If I didn’t have Kevin, I was up the creek. But God had Him along on the trip, with Kevin’s particular gifts, to help us along the way. God has equipped you with a particular shape. The Bible says that if you are a Christ-follower you have been endowed with at least one spiritual gift. You also have a heart for certain things, abilities, personality and experiences that make you who you are. And you know what? I’m not you. I don’t have your shape. I’m shaped differently. And there are times when my shape will not be enough (like changing tires) and I’m going to need your help. I need you and you need me. That’s the way God made us. How can we use our shape to serve God, each other, and our church?