In this series we’ve been looking at principles of a healthy and growing churches, and this week we’re looking at service: in general, we are defining “ministry” as anything inside the church, and “mission” as anything outside the church. We are all called to serve. This weekend we heard the Call of Moses and the Burning Bush (Exodus 3), and while we might believe in God’s power, we might not think that God actually will intervene in my own life. Let’s look at four aspects of Moses’ life that we all can relate to, when it comes down to answering God’s call to serve others. At the beginning of Moses’ story, he is abandoned and rejected even by his own parents (Exodus 2:1-2). Many of us have experienced abandonment and rejection, and the lie is that because we are rejected by others, God won’t use us for great things – that’s a lie that many people believe. The truth is that Moses is chosen, and that you and I are chosen. A second incident in Moses’ life is that he kills a man (Exodus 2:11-12), violating the Fifth Commandment right from the beginning. The lie many people believe is allowing our sins to tell us we are not called to serve. The truth is that Jesus has conquered sin and death; and our sinful past does not prevent us from serving others. Third, Moses leaves Egypt to go to Midian, to Jethro, whose daughter he marries, and he stays there for a while tending Jethro’s flocks when God calls him (Exodus 3:1-2). This is like leaving New York to go to some cornfield in Nebraska; and the lie is that our lives are too ordinary, boring, or plain to have a positive impact. The truth is that every ordinary situation and choice can have a meaningful, extraordinary impact. Last, Moses begs God to send somebody else because he’s not qualified; he’s not eloquent enough and slow to speech (Exodus 4:10,13). The lie is that we think we’re too weak to serve others; the truth is that when we are weak God is strong, and God’s strength is made perfect through human weakness. You and I can relate to all of these lies; maybe at one point you’ve believed some or all of them. Even though these lies are present, every single one of us is called, chosen, forgiven, and empowered to do extraordinary things. Questions for Small Groups:
What voices or messages do you hear that have prevented you from serving others? Do you believe they are true?
What issues or causes might God be calling you to open your eyes and heart to?
What skills or passions would others in your Small Group say that you have? How can you encourage someone else in your group to serve?