Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com
I am carrying out a study about Christian service that I am going present to my colleagues at church. Please help me answer the following questions.
Who is eligible for Christian service, why Christian service, and what are the challenges and benefits of Christian service?
I encourage you to browse through all the articles on Christian service on this site. Just go to the table of contents, and scroll down until you find the category on Christian service. In this space, I will give brief answers, and point to several verses to help you get started.
Now, for the first question: who is eligible? This depends on what Christian service is involved. Service in Christ refers to many things. All service should be grounded in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), centered in Jesus Christ, but can take many forms. Along with being a Christian, the person should have the skills, giftedness, and training to perform the task. For example, if the service is in a missionary hospital, then the doctors should be doctors, nurses should be nurses, administrators should be administrators – and the list goes on. If it is in a Christian school, then teachers should have the gift of teaching and the training.
Christian service involves fulfilling the spiritual gifts God has given each Christian (e.g. Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31) as we set about to fulfill the Great Commission. Every Christian is eligible. In fact, it is every Christian’s duty. Some service, such as pastor, has special qualifications (1 Timothy 3:1-13; 2 Timothy 2:24-26; Titus 1:5-9; James 3:3).
I would be careful not to place new converts into places of high responsibility (1 Timothy 3:6). However, every convert should be given some Christian service to do. It will deepen their commitment to Christ, cause them to grow spiritually, and help you as leaders to determine who is trustworthy, qualified, and faithful to be given greater responsibility in the work of Christ (Cf. 1 Corinthians 4:1, 2; 2 Timothy2:1,2).
Question two: why do Christian service?
Paul answered , “Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation…Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us” (2 Corinthians 5:18, 20). In another place he wrote, “who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds” (Titus 2:14).
Christians are God’s representatives in the world. Primarily, we are to make disciples for Jesus through evangelism, discipleship, and good works. We are God’s fellow workers in taking the Gospel to the world (1 Corinthians 3:5-9; cf. Colossians 1:28, 29).
Question three: What are the challenges?
Many. First, the world hates Christ and the Gospel (John 15:18, 19). Second, we have spiritual demons and Satan against the people and work of God (Ephesians 6:10-20). Third, there are always problems with relationships among Christian workers (Philippians 1:27-2:4; Romans 12:9-21). Fourth, there are the discouragements in ministry. Paul describes some of these (2 Corinthians 4:1-18). We face rejection, sometimes failure, financial inadequacy, spiritual boredom and failure, etc.
Question four: what are the benefits?
Many. Reward in heaven is one. Paul says we must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ to be recompensed for our deeds (2 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 14:10-12; 1 Corinthians 3:10-15; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18).
A second benefit is the personal joy and satisfaction of being a part of God’s work in the lives of people here in this life. Paul wrote, “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now” (Philippians 1:3-5).
A third benefit is the betterment of the community and society that we live in. The more Christian values and principles are practiced in any culture, the more blessing will come. The reason is that people are designed by God to function in a particular way. When we follow our design, things work better. For example, if we break the 10 Commandments, things will be bad. After all, who wants to live in a culture full of robbery, murder, adultery, greed, deceit, and family breakup? All those things destroy, and do not bring success and happiness to a people. In contrast, when honesty, compassion, loyalty, kindness, justice, etc., prevail in a land, then good things happen (cf. Galatians 5:13-26).
Christians have built hospitals to bring healing to millions, schools to bring education, relief organizations to bring help when natural disasters happen, and churches to bring worship, fellowship, encouragement, counseling, etc. to untold millions.
Winniefred, I hope this gives you enough material and ideas to put together a good presentation for your church. May God richly bless your ministry. Please inform the people of the Bible teaching about.com website. And please pray for our ministry.
Dr. Willis & Esmie Newman
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