Christ-Focused Serving

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by: Pastor Jim

04/25/2022

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In late January, a nondescript Twitter account for the local sheriff’s office started receiving attention from around the nation after it issued a confusing tweet. The first sentence from the San Miguel Sheriff’s Office read, “Large boulder the size of a small boulder is completely blocking east-bound lane Highway 145 at Silverpick Rd. Please use caution and watch for emergency vehicles in the area.

 

Almost immediately, Twitter users started to question whether there was an exception in the laws of physics that would somehow explain how a large boulder could be the size of a small boulder.

One reader wrote, “What’s heavier … a large boulder the size of a small boulder, or a small boulder the size of a large one? Asking for a friend.” A different user wondered if perhaps the boulder was having self-esteem issues. Still yet another offered a potential fashion solution. “Perhaps the boulder was wearing Spanx or a similar compression garment? That would explain how a large boulder could fit into the size of a small boulder.”

After several more sarcastic tweets, the sheriff’s office offered a clarification: “The boulder that fell onto Highway 145 at Silverpick Rd was approximately 4ft x4ft x4ft (64 cubic ft) and weighed about 10,000 lbs.

When human communication contains confusing measurements, it can be quite frustrating (or humorous.)   But have you ever considered that to God, our earthly measures are irrelevant; large or small, rich or poor, God is the LORD over them all, and can use all for his glory and purposes(?)   

How should you and I look at the small size that we have become as a church?  I’ll be honest.  I have never celebrated Easter with as few people as I did during our recent Resurrection Sunday.  It felt a little awkward, and yet, I know that God is/was/will be directing us and at work among us.  

Instead of seeing it as absolute proof that something is dreadfully wrong and God is trying to get our attention (and yes, I earnestly pray that God would fully reveal anything, if that is the case) – I have been reminding myself of a belief and several truths, which don’t require any assumption or guess work.  I hope that you will find them as refreshing and motivating as I do.  

The belief is this: A small church has great value in developing believers who want to grow a large faith (ummm… like a large boulder.)   A small church can be better at producing CHRIST-FOCUSED SERVICE.  

Take a look at the following precepts, which Stacie found in my files this week. 

  • Self-focused service is concerned with impressive gains. It enjoys serving when the ministry is titanic or growing that direction. Christ-focused service doesn’t distinguish between small and large. It indiscriminately welcomes all opportunities to serve. 
  • Self-focused service requires external reward, appreciation, and applause. Christ-focused service rests content in hiddenness. The divine nod of approval is sufficient. 
  • Self-Focused service is highly concerned about results. It becomes disillusioned when results fall below expectations. Christ-focused service is free of the need to calculate results; it delights only in service. 
  • Self-focused service is affected by feelings. Christ-focused service ministers simply and faithfully because there is a need. The service disciplines the feelings. 
  • Self-focused service insists on meeting the need; it demands the opportunity to help. Christ-focused service listens with tenderness and patience. It can serve by waiting in silence. 
  • Self-Focused service is impressed with the “big deal.” Christ-focused service finds it almost impossible to distinguish the small from the large service. 
  • Self-focused service picks and chooses whom to serve. Christ-focused service is indiscriminate in its ministry. 
  • Self-focused service is affected by moods and whims. Christ-focused service ministers simply and faithfully because there is a need. 
  • Self-righteous service is temporary. Christ-focused service is a life-style. 

(Pray with me, please!)   Lord, thank You that we are a small church.  Thank You for sustaining us.  Whether we remain small, or You choose for us to grow, may our congregation always be devoted to Christ-focused service. 

In late January, a nondescript Twitter account for the local sheriff’s office started receiving attention from around the nation after it issued a confusing tweet. The first sentence from the San Miguel Sheriff’s Office read, “Large boulder the size of a small boulder is completely blocking east-bound lane Highway 145 at Silverpick Rd. Please use caution and watch for emergency vehicles in the area.

 

Almost immediately, Twitter users started to question whether there was an exception in the laws of physics that would somehow explain how a large boulder could be the size of a small boulder.

One reader wrote, “What’s heavier … a large boulder the size of a small boulder, or a small boulder the size of a large one? Asking for a friend.” A different user wondered if perhaps the boulder was having self-esteem issues. Still yet another offered a potential fashion solution. “Perhaps the boulder was wearing Spanx or a similar compression garment? That would explain how a large boulder could fit into the size of a small boulder.”

After several more sarcastic tweets, the sheriff’s office offered a clarification: “The boulder that fell onto Highway 145 at Silverpick Rd was approximately 4ft x4ft x4ft (64 cubic ft) and weighed about 10,000 lbs.

When human communication contains confusing measurements, it can be quite frustrating (or humorous.)   But have you ever considered that to God, our earthly measures are irrelevant; large or small, rich or poor, God is the LORD over them all, and can use all for his glory and purposes(?)   

How should you and I look at the small size that we have become as a church?  I’ll be honest.  I have never celebrated Easter with as few people as I did during our recent Resurrection Sunday.  It felt a little awkward, and yet, I know that God is/was/will be directing us and at work among us.  

Instead of seeing it as absolute proof that something is dreadfully wrong and God is trying to get our attention (and yes, I earnestly pray that God would fully reveal anything, if that is the case) – I have been reminding myself of a belief and several truths, which don’t require any assumption or guess work.  I hope that you will find them as refreshing and motivating as I do.  

The belief is this: A small church has great value in developing believers who want to grow a large faith (ummm… like a large boulder.)   A small church can be better at producing CHRIST-FOCUSED SERVICE.  

Take a look at the following precepts, which Stacie found in my files this week. 

  • Self-focused service is concerned with impressive gains. It enjoys serving when the ministry is titanic or growing that direction. Christ-focused service doesn’t distinguish between small and large. It indiscriminately welcomes all opportunities to serve. 
  • Self-focused service requires external reward, appreciation, and applause. Christ-focused service rests content in hiddenness. The divine nod of approval is sufficient. 
  • Self-Focused service is highly concerned about results. It becomes disillusioned when results fall below expectations. Christ-focused service is free of the need to calculate results; it delights only in service. 
  • Self-focused service is affected by feelings. Christ-focused service ministers simply and faithfully because there is a need. The service disciplines the feelings. 
  • Self-focused service insists on meeting the need; it demands the opportunity to help. Christ-focused service listens with tenderness and patience. It can serve by waiting in silence. 
  • Self-Focused service is impressed with the “big deal.” Christ-focused service finds it almost impossible to distinguish the small from the large service. 
  • Self-focused service picks and chooses whom to serve. Christ-focused service is indiscriminate in its ministry. 
  • Self-focused service is affected by moods and whims. Christ-focused service ministers simply and faithfully because there is a need. 
  • Self-righteous service is temporary. Christ-focused service is a life-style. 

(Pray with me, please!)   Lord, thank You that we are a small church.  Thank You for sustaining us.  Whether we remain small, or You choose for us to grow, may our congregation always be devoted to Christ-focused service. 

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