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Becoming the Servant Church by Ted Sexton

Becoming the Servant Church in the Northland

  • Individual churches working across denominational and non-denominational lines will strengthen all the individual churches to make us One Church with a God given mandate to become “The Servant Church “.

  • What can the Servant Church mean to us? It seemed very important to Jesus in His earthly ministry to show His love by performing blessings, healings and the forgiveness that He offered to sinners. Not only did He want us all to come to faith, to be forgiven of our sins, to become born again, and as He said to the woman caught in adultery, that we all must “sin no more”; but He also genuinely wanted to bless, heal and minister to all of the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of the people that He encountered. In His opening message to us as to who He was and what He came to do, He said in Luke 4:18, The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed”.

  • Are we, as the entire Body of Christ, willing to take on this ministry of loving and showing love, by bringing servant-hood to the forefront, or are we content to be only with our own group of very like-minded believers? This “servant-hood” thing, are we sure about this? Look at Mark 9:35 And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, 'If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all' ”.

  • Jesus seemed to have more contention with the legalists than He had with the sinners. I don't know about you, but I often struggle with my own brand of legalism, and need always to be aware of the false pride and arrogance that legalism can give me. Do I love Him and love others the way Jesus expects me to?

  • Going to church does not make one a believer, a person's believing faith in Jesus and who He truly is does. This can only happen with an understanding and acceptance of our need of Him, our asking for forgiveness of sin, and believing in His saving grace. However, the local church should be a hothouse where faith is born and nurtured and people's needs are ministered to. A bigger concern beyond where people go to church that we should have, is the large number of people in our area who are the un-reached, (those that know nothing of the Christian faith), the un-churched, (may have never been to church, know nothing of faith and don't care to know or are very much turned off by what they see of Christians or the church), or the de-churched (those that have stopped going to church anywhere, because they have experienced some woundedness at a past church, may have experienced a lack of fellowship, felt a sense of condemnation in their church, or they may have developed a general lack of commitment due to a gradual ebbing away of faith and loss of interest in the message of Christ).

  • One local pastor told me that in St. Louis County, well over 90% of the people don't attend church at all, that they are kind of like an unreached people group. This concept has remained with me for the last couple years, and that got me thinking…........

  • Consider “Reach Out of the Box” ideas, enacted by individual churches or sometimes corporately between several or many churches, in order to reach out of the box of our local churches to minster to the needs of the needy and bring them to faith and bring them to fellowship.

  • If we consider this “Reach Out of the Box” concept, we have the potential of reaching the currently unreached, unchurched, and dechurched. Some of these ideas can be unique and novel ways of reaching the many unreached people and subcultures in our area. There are vast numbers of people in various cultures and sub-cultures within our local Northland Area who will never be effectively reached for the cause of Christ by a typical evangelizing event in a church or public venue. The subcultures I am talking about may be those people interested in sports, athletics, car racing, those just released from prison, young video gamers, gang bangers, druggies, those interested in dog shows, square dancing, old guys having morning coffee at the local restaurant, those liking to walk along the board walk in canal park in the summer, skiers, skate boarders, hunters, fishermen, etc, etc. Who knows, the list can be almost endless. Each person and each subculture is a potential ministry and outreach opportunity.

  • We need to not only “Reach Out of the Box”, we need to “Get Out of the Box”, of our local church. We need much more then just novel outreach ideas to bring others to faith. In the interest of blessing the needy as an action of the Servant Church, we need to support current effective ministries and explore a very large number of various kinds of effective ministries that individuals, individual churches and churches corporately can undertake, like feeding the poor and homeless, mentoring the addicted, helping those that are homeless or in prison, loving the emotionally brokenhearted or taking on any number of basic relational, emotional, physical, financial, and mental challenges to those in need around us.

  • Not only does it seem that Jesus would desire us to minister to these kinds of needs, but all our ministries will be much more effective when we reach out of the comfort zone of our local church. Instead of expecting those in need to come to us, we need to be going out to them, as it says in Acts 1:8, you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth”.

  • Can you imagine how valuable and attractive it would be to those in need if they saw a loving, ministering, cohesive, area-wide Body of Christ team effort by all the various churches in the area.

  • And can you imagine how attractive the Gospel would become to those who do not see themselves as needy, and who are not yet in the faith; and while in that mindset, when these people observe the body of Christ hard at work loving and meeting all the various needs of the needy.

  • Is there value in the variations in the different worship styles and variations in theology, if Jesus is at the center? There sure is! Can we effectively work together? We sure should be able to! A few years ago, I was sitting by a campfire and was a little confused by all the different denominations and churches I see around us. As I looked at the campfire, I felt God was showing me something. I considered how campfires function. If the logs are all stacked parallel, and are very tightly spaced, the fire often smolders, not producing much heat or light. If the logs are separated far apart from each other, the fire very quickly seems to go out, or just a few embers smolder for a short time. But the fire seems to burn best when the logs are crisscrossed and allow some air space between them. It seems to burn hottest at it's center. So it is with the church, the Servant Church. It burns the brightest and the hottest at the center, where Jesus is. I believe that God can use different worship styles and variations in understanding of Christian theology to reach the unreached, and effectively minster to their needs.

  • I believe this works as it seems that different people are ministered to and reached by different ministries and approaches. Jesus kind of said that too, in Mark 9 38 Now John answered Him, saying, “Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us.” 39 But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me. 40 For he who is not against us is on our side. 41 For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”


Where do we go from here?

Email me Ted, at sharpeningiron@gmail.com if this strikes a cord with you!!!!

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