Every Member A Minister
This is the next sermon in our current series, “Monday To Sunday”
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Over the past few weeks we’ve been talking about this idea of Monday to Sunday. Being faith-active in every area of your life. We said that a person doesn’t need to quit their job and work in the church in order to serve God. Three weeks ago, Pastor Sean said that only one thing matters. We find that in Matthew 22:34-40. Love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind.
We all know that, at least intellectually. In fact, I’m sure you can think of individuals in the Bible who were fully engaged in the Lord’s work even though they had jobs in the world. Think about it. Priscilla and Aquila were tentmakers, Luke was a doctor, and Daniel was in government service. They all faithfully served the Lord. Too often we think of God’s calling as something set aside for people in vocational ministry. But He also calls people to other areas of service. There is no question that God calls some people to be in vocational ministry. Sometimes that call is supernatural. It happened to the prophet Jeremiah.
In Jeremiah 1:4-5 we read, “The Word of the Lord came to me saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
That’s also what happened to Paul on the Road to Damascus. But most Pastors in church ministry today never had a Damascus Road experience. They usually serve because their gifts line up with the needs of the church or some mission field. They have the passion, gifts, talents and abilities to meet the need. God led them into ministry through ordinary means rather than through extraordinary means. So many of you are using your God-given gifts, talents, and abilities to serve God outside of the church. That’s why I feel that every member should see themselves as a minister and realize that every job is important. Whatever we do, God can use us in our chosen field to glorify Him, to further His kingdom. He called Noah and Abraham and Joseph and Daniel by supernatural means, though none of them were in “vocational ministry”. Think about it. Those are some of our greatest heroes of the faith!
I have known people who from their earliest memories felt destined to be a teacher, or an artist, or a doctor, or a musician. They couldn’t even imagine doing anything else. If they use their career to glorify God, I would call that a spiritual calling to that particular vocation.
So many biblical characters seem to have come into their careers by being born into them or choosing them through ordinary means. You just need to shift your way of thinking. Look at your God-given abilities and then ask yourself, “What matters most?” Again, the answer is found in Matthew 22:34-40; to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.
We’ve been talking about this concept of Monday to Sunday, living Full Circle, being faith-active in every area of our lives. It’s something God has called all of us to do. I believe God has called Joe Plye to law, Jacob and Chris Shaw to teaching, Dave Browne, Will Housh, Jeryl Proudfit, Rik Henson to business, Karen Buddemeyer to accounting, and Brenda Patton to counseling.
And sometimes God moves people around. Peter was a fisherman, turned evangelist. Just as Andy Keimer was a teacher, a Basketball coach, and is now our youth pastor. David Vermaak was in finance and project management and is now our Pastor of Community Life. Jerod Martin was a Pastor and Andrew Conrad a missionary and they now run their own company. Each person is using their lives to impact the kingdom. That’s Monday to Sunday looks like!
There are also people like Don Lovell and Phillip Hess who volunteer so much of their time they might as well be on staff with the church. Each of us needs to blur the lines and see everything we do as serving unto the Lord. Col. 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters…”
If you’re working outside the church, look at the marketplace itself as a mission field. If you’re a teacher, your school is your mission field. Focus on the ministry, the people, right where God has you 40-60 hours per week. That leads right into the next reason why I believe every member should be a minister. The church is not the best place to reach people who don’t know Christ. Your school is a better place. Your office is a better place. The most effective evangelists are not always church staff.
And there’s a simple reason for that. You spend more time with unbelievers than pastors do. That’s why Grace Chapel has always embraced an incarnational vision of ministry. When Jesus was here how did he live, how did he minister? And how can we be like him? The Bible says one of the jobs of a Pastor is to train others to do the work of service. Eph. 4:11-12 says, “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.”
Most of you spend much of your life in the marketplace, or if you’re younger, in school. You are in a far better position than the average pastor to influence people for Christ. To influence people who may never consider attending a church.
These are all reasons why we have a marketplace minister on staff at Grace Chapel, Pastor Kevin. His job is to invest in you, to send you out prepared. It’s why we built the ORCA Center, why we have ORCA co-working, why we incubate and accelerate biznistries on our church campus. It’s gives us a chance to invest in the lives of people in our community. It’s why we have Impact Groups in our youth ministry. It encourages our students to be ministers on their campus at school.
I said earlier that we have an incarnational vision.How did Jesus reach people when he was here? John 2:24 says that Jesus knew what was in a person. He could read minds and hearts. Jesus had the same message, but a different approach depending on who he was talking with. When he talked with fisherman, farmers, tax collectors, he knew them and could speak to their language. To fisherman he said, “I will make you fishers of men”. He had the same message, but a different approach depending on the person he talked to. Then in 1 Cor. 11:1 Paul wrote, “follow my example as I follow the example of Christ.” And how did Paul live and minister?
In 1 Cor. 9:19-23 we read, “Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.”
Paul couldn’t read minds, so he invested time learning about the people he loved and who needed Christ. In Acts 17:28 he says, “As some of your own poets have said…” How did he know what their poets said? He studied and invested in their culture.
Jesus lived a Monday to Sunday life. He saw every activity, every day, as an opportunity to share the gospel and build the Kingdom. Life was more like a pot of spaghetti to him than a plate of waffles. He didn’t compartmentalize his life like waffles, but like a pot of spaghetti he saw it as one continuous journey, with the goal of investing in others for the God of glory. Jesus lived a Monday to Sunday life. Paul lived a Monday to Sunday life. We all need to live a Monday to Sunday life! We need to bring our faith into everything we do. We need to see our life as one big pot of spaghetti.