James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” And he said to them, “What is it you want me to do for you?” And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They replied, “We are able.” Then Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. So Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” [NRSV]
One of the greatest threats to the church is the perception of belonging. The church does not belong to us, it belongs to God. We are the church, in Christ Jesus.
Without Jesus we are only a community organization of people attempting to show kindness for some self-serving reasons. That is not the church. Jesus came to serve us. In living, dying, rising Christ serves us as example for living, gracious salvation and eternal life: All this done as witness of God’s love for us.
A dangerous position is for us to think of how the church serve us. We ask is the church meeting my needs? Is it doing my job of parenting? Is it entertaining my attention? Am I getting a good return on my investment of tithes and offerings? Do I get enough attention, power and support?
If we ever ask ourselves any of these questions above, we are not serving Christ.
Jame and John have been following Jesus, going where Jesus sends them, attending worship and study with Jesus, they have been doing whatever he needed. They felt they had earned a “point-of-privilege.”
The powerful relevance of the church is lost when we IN the church switch places from serving to being served.
This comes at every age and level of participation. For life-time members, we feel we have earned a place for others to serve — its time for to receive the fruit of our labors. For visitors and our newest members we are just getting connected and others should make a way for us. As children and youth, our parents and grand parents and other ‘grown-ups’ should do for us. If you have ever thought, the minister/preacher/pastor should do this or that.. most likely it is a place God is calling you to serve.
Tommye McCoy, a forty-four year Christian Education Minister taught me the secret of the ordain ministry: You should do 100% of what God calls you to do and 90% of what the church expects you to do.
So here we are. We introduced our new “2 Mile” ministry goal. We are claiming the responsibility to reach out to the over 1000 people who live within 2 miles of our address.
Our ministry will ultimately be to serve Jesus Christ with these persons in two primary ways: 1) Prayer, and 2) Service.
We are going to model an introductory conversation this morning (call on leaders to help)
1. Member: Knock/Ring “Hello my name is “John” I am a member of Rock Spring UMC and we would like to pray for you today. Is there something you would like for us to pray with you about something? some need? some concern?
Neighbor: Yes. My husband is having surgery / No. I have a church
Member: We would love to pray for him. What is his name and when is the surgery? / We are glad you have a church, we are only wanting to pray today, if you like
Neighbor: His name is Henry, it’s next Tuesday. / No thank you,
Member: Let’s pray right now. “Jesus, we lift Henry to you today and pray for his surgery. We pray for the doctors and nurses and all will give him care. Fill him with your Holy Spirit as we pray for his healing and wholeness today. Amen / I will share this with our prayer team right away.
2. Member: Is there something we can do to serve you today?
Neighbor: No, thank you / Yes, Can you bring my mail in from the mail box, pick up a paper, rake my leaves, Can you give my husband and I a ride to the hospital on Tuesday.
Member: I’d love to help. / I’m not available Tuesday but I will find someone at the church, may I call you this afternoon when I find a ride? What is the best number to call?
Neighbor: Great, here is my number / No, get off my porch and don’t come back!
Member: Bless you!
Member –> update the office with the prayer, and find some people to help serve, x 1000 neighbors. [200 members each contacting 5 neighbor in the next 12 months.]
In this process we are SHOWING Christ to our neighbors
In this ministry we are reminding each other that our work as Christians is to serve
In this reaching out, we show the world around us GOD at work.
In this service, we trust the Holy Spirit to lead, protect and empower us.
We are going to practice today and for the next several weeks.
Some of you will reach out to people door to door
Some of you can call on the phone
Some of you will talk with people wherever to are or travel
Some of you will be ready to prayer
Some of you will be ready to drive, rake, clean, feed, shop, visit, sit, paint or more
Some of you will help up stay organized in this process
Some of you will help us follow up with our neighbors.
ALL OF US need to SHARE this ministry.
We all know that our Denomination and all our churches are headed for some rocky and rough weather, rather than sit here and wait for trouble…
WE ARE GOING TO BE THE CHURCH
We are going to witness being the body of Christ
We are going to serve and pray
We are going to depend on EVERY member to help in this ministry
We are going to hold each other in prayer and accountability.
And when we are done with this ministry. We are going to celebrate how God has used us to multiply loaves and fishes.
We are going to share stories of how people’s lives are set free in Christ
We are going to look forward to all that God has in store for us in the years ahead.
We are going to SHOW Rock Spring and the world that Jesus Christ lives in us!
Are you with me.