Read Ephesians 4:11-13. Anything strike you?
The only way to achieve maturity â€“ the whole measure of fullness of Christ â€“ is to serve out of the giftedness that the Spirit has placed in you.
Let that sink in for a moment. It isnâ€™t about how much you know but how much you serve. Jesus said it this way in Mark 4:24-25 â€“ â€œWhatever measure you use, it will be measured to you.â€ The more you use your gift â€“ the better you will get at it. However much you invest, that much will be given back to you.
This is why we have this as a core inner discipline. It could be grouped with the Life Group Disciplines as well, but no matter where it is pigeon-holed, its importance can not be debated. God created and gifted us to be mature in Him â€“ that is to experience the fullness (whole measure) of Him. And that is in lock step with serving. Itâ€™s inseparable.
The lack of this discipline turned the Pharisees intoâ€¦well, Pharisees. Religious leaders with lots of opinions and â€˜insightsâ€™ but incarnate very little of what they are teaching. It still happens today.
Godâ€™s perfect classroom of spiritual formation is wherever we serve. There are things that God can teach and form in us faster, better, and clearer when we serve than if we memorized the whole of the Bible. (By the way â€“ Iâ€™m NOT saying that memorizing the Bible is a waste of time. I AM saying that most of us learn by DOING as opposed to HEARING.)
By serving we â€˜join the teamâ€™ as opposed to being a critic or observing. So the next time you hear the phrase â€“ â€œIâ€™m not mature enough to serveâ€ you can just agree with them and tell them they will never be mature enough UNTIL they serve.
- Not sure what your gift is? Start trying stuff on. Volunteer for a month in a ministry and see if itâ€™s a fit.
- Serve with somebody to begin with.
- Think outside the church walls. Help with the Compassion Center, tutoring, or even under the Broadway Bridge