Who's In Charge?
(from 4/29/18 sermon - Spencer Teal)
See if there is anyone who wants to share a short testimony, or if there are there specific praise updates to begin CG.
I Corinthians 12:12-20 - “12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. 14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.”
Q - Sermon takeaways from those who were in attendance?
This past Sunday was our final in the sermons series, Who’s In Charge. It was reiterated that always, throughout all time, in every location, and in every denomination, it is Jesus Himself who is truly the lead pastor of the church. We also did a quick refresher on the role of elder(s) vs. the role of deacon(s), with the main distinction being that elders shepherd and govern those in the the flock by teaching, guiding, and protecting them, but the role of the deacon is not to govern but to serve various essential ministries of the church. Although many people have come from environments where deacons governed through a deacon board, biblically we do not see that as their role but rather the role of the elders. After this quick overview our attention turned to the congregation to see what Scripture says about what role(s) each member of the body is to play within the church.
My Story - Spencer told the story of how Coach Bill Belichick looked at each member of his team, pointed his finger at them (punters, quarterbacks, defensive linemen, etc.) and simply told them, “Do your job!” Tying it to this passage, it important that we see that in building his church, Jesus does give very specific gifts to each individual within the church, and each individual, therefore, has a job to do. Q - The norm is that 20% of the people do 80% of the work within an organization. What has your experience been within the church...most people using their gifts to serve the body or only a handful. Describe. Q2 - What do you think is the difference between human talents and abilities vs. spiritual gifts given by Jesus? And why is this distinction so important?
Consider the following passages that refer to the spiritual gifts we have been given. Romans 12:4-6a - “4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them…” 1 Cor 12:11 - “11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.” And lastly, Eph 4:7, 12, 16 - “7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift...12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ...16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”
Going Deeper - Look carefully at these passages and notice the pattern of a) one body/many members, b) a variety of individuals and giftings, c) the fact that all gifts are truly given by the Holy Spirit Himself, d) the fact that gifts are given to “equip” and “build up” the body, and e) each part of the body needs to do its part (“Do your job.”). Discussion Q - What do you think it would look like if we took these passages serious and each of us stepped into our giftings and did our job? Q2 - Why is this hard for many of us to do, and how can we overcome these obstacles?
As in all of the letters in the New Testament, they are written to a very specific group of individuals in a very specific geographical location. Today’s 1 Corinthians passage speaks of one body living and spiritual giftings within the church of Corinth. Likewise, consider 1 Peter 5:2-3 where we see that elders are given a very specific flock to be in charge of and exercise oversight over. “2 ...shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3 not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.” Note that passages like this are why it is important for individuals to be, or move toward, membership in a very specific church. The same is true at Red Stone Church.
Taking it Home -
As we consider these passages and concepts regarding the fact that Jesus does give each of us spiritual gifts and these gifts are to be used, consider the following possible responses:
Q - How about you...what will your response(s) be?
- Some need to take steps to determine what their spiritual gift is or gifts are
- Some simply need to begin using their gift or gifts
- Some need to speak words of affirmation to others regarding the gift(s) you see in them
- Some need to encourage specific individuals to begin using their gift(s) because the body needs them
- All of us us need to celebrate the variety found within the body and the Lord’s giftings
- Some of us need to get uncomfortable by rubbing shoulders with and getting acquainted with those within the body with different giftings than yours
V. CLOSE - Final thoughts?
VI. BE ON-MISSION -
Who are 3 specific individuals that are either not Christians, not in church, or not in Christian community that you will invite to Red Stone on the Lawn Sunday, May 20?