SERVOLUTION —  October 13, 2012

Here is a quote we know very well:

“Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Savior mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, “Follow Me.” (Ministry of Healing 143-144)

Here is quote that don’t often share. (hint- it follows the previous one!)

“There is need of coming close to the people by personal effort. If less time were given to sermonizing, and more time were spent in personal ministry, greater results would be seen. The poor are to be relieved, the sick cared for, the sorrowing and the bereaved comforted, the ignorant instructed, the inexperienced counseled. We are to weep with those that weep, and rejoice with those that rejoice. Accompanied by the power of persuasion, the power of prayer, the power of the love of God, this work will not, cannot, be without fruit. (Ministry of Healing 143-144)

This quote seems to suggest, that evangelism and service should go hand in hand. Here are some principles to remember:
1. Steve Sjogren, author of A Conspiracy of Kindness, writes that service is: “Small things done with great love will change the world.” Jesus’ method of reaching the cities he ministered is found in Acts 10:38 (NIV) “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.”

2. Think for a moment about the following text: Romans 2:4 (NASB) “Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?” Here are the implications of thatpassage:

a. Fact- God’s kindness leads to repentance.
b. Fact- God’s kindness is expressed by the works of his people towards others!

c. Fact- God’s kindness, when expressed, causes others to praise God. (See 2Corinthians 9:13)

The take-away from these passages, is that ourearthly kindness can have an eternalimpact. When we serve we are not just meeting needs, we are helping people to meet Him.

3. A service lifestyle accomplishes various objectives. Here are three biblical ones:

a. A service lifestyle is part of a divine expectation.It would be helpful to understand that when standing before our maker, instead of asking us to recite the eschatological timeline, God asks “what did you do about my children that needed help?”. Mathew 25:34-36

b. A service lifestyle takes us out of our comfort zone. It’s more than outreach, its reaching out. Even to those who don’t look, believe, speak, or act like us. That includes our enemies! Mathew 5:46-48

c. A service lifestyle breaks down barriers.It’s all about love, and love can indeed “conquer all”. When we express love, we break down preconceived concepts about the church and God.

Remember, there are 37 recorded miracles of Jesus in the New Testament. There is one written sermon of Jesus (sermon on the mount). This goes along with the counsel given: “If less time were given to sermonizing, and more time were spent in personal ministry, greater results would be seen”. (Ministry of Healing, 143)

1. What are some creative ways your church is reaching the community?
2. If money was no object, what would you do? What project would you start?

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