Our world is full of consumers and people who only care about what they can get and not how they can serve. Our attitude when we come to church should be one of serving and not looking to be served. Our attitude with other Christians should be one of looking to give, not always receive.
No one is meant to be a mere fixture in a church meeting, just like a piece of the furniture, a spectator, a consumer. You know, as Americans we develop kind of naturally to fall into this consumer mentality, where we in the case of a church or a congregation, we arrive, we hear a sermon, and then we go home and there's no thought about: what can I do to serve? What can I do to help? It's a consumer type of mentality. I'm there to be fed. I'm there to be cared for. And you'd be surprised how many people leave churches in bad ways because they think that they're not being cared for or they're not being fed and it's all about them. But I say beware of negligence. Let yourself be served by God. You don't have to be able to fill a pulpit like this or have a grand ministry to be used by God in the church, to be gifted to be used by God in the church. Spurgeon said, as only he can say things, he said, "Good wheat grows in little fields." In Missouri, we've got little fields. Here you've got ranches that take up a whole mile. Good wheat can grow in little fields. He says, "Little pigeons can carry great messages." And you know, in the past history of the world wars, there were wars that were turned around on the message received by a carrier pigeon. Little pigeons can carry great messages. He says, "Even a little dog can bark at a thief and wake up the master and save the house." And it's true. A spark is a fire. And a sentence with truth has heaven in it. Now, the way our congregation works - it might not fit in here in San Antonio, but we have what's called an open-participatory type of a meeting in which during the song singing anyone can offer a comment on a verse or give a brief word, a testimony, or something they read in a book. And you would be surprised - maybe you wouldn't be - I was surprised at how frequently those little interjections that the Spirit moves on a person to say have turned out to be more important in my estimation than anything I said for the whole 45 minutes I preached. God uses people that way. And we ought to let ourselves be used by God. Serve the church. Serve God. Serve the church. The household of faith. We're told to do good to them. I was having a conversation around the table with Kenny Lee over at Tony's house. I asked him where he saw himself in the future. He just made a comment off the cuff about how he just wanted to through trial and error figure out what God's gift is for him and try and use it in the church however he could. That fits right here. Yesterday, I got a text from Raoul and he wanted to know what my sermon notes might be because he's going to try and interpret it to the Spanish-speaking ones that are here and I thought there is a perfect example. Here is someone who's been gifted. He's got something to do and he's anxious to do it, desiring to do it. Regretfully I had to decline because my notes are all in hard copies and he probably couldn't make heads or tails of them anyway. But I like the attitude there - an attitude of serving, wanting to serve. Romans 12, Paul said, "All the members don't have the same function." He said, "We have gifts that differ according to the grace given us." But the implication is everyone - not just apostles. In fact, he says, "Each of us is to exercise them accordingly." And he gives just a few examples. He says, "If service, in his serving." And that word literally just means helping. Do you realize you could be gifted just to help people? When Tony went to move down here to San Antonio, Matthew McDonnell took time off, took his own vehicle, drove from San Antonio all the way to Sedalia, so that we could load up Tony's belongings, hook up a trailer on the back, and three days later, two days later, he turned around, drove all the way back to San Antonio, gave Tony the service of moving here. Now you see, some might say - we have a tendency to overlook those things as not being gifts of the Spirit, but you might be surprised, there's something that you can do, something you can help with, and it might just be that the Holy Spirit has gifted you that way. That's serving.