“For many of us, our most precious and sacrificial gift is not even our money; it is our time, our participation, our leadership, our knowledge and experience.” Commitment to a movement like Caleb’s Heart Ministries requires prayer, participation, and generosity. It’s also for service. In the distant past, the body of Christ was separated into clergy and laity, leaders (the board of directors, the executives, the staff) and followers. That’s not as it should be. The biblical emphasis is on the ministry of the laos, the people of God, the members. Let’s talk about the essential nature of service in the Christian life, where we should serve, and then, how we should serve.
First, serving is not an option; rather, it’s what we are called to do. We are to become stirred to action—to go and to serve. Jesus himself came to be a servant: “For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28). When we serve in the name of Christ and reach out to others, it gives us credibility as his messengers. Peter pointed out, “Your godly lives will speak to them better than any words. They will be won over by watching your pure, godly behavior” (1 Pet. 3:1–2). What we do oftentimes speaks much more loudly than anything we say. Serving others brings us together. The New Testament concept of the church is that we are a community of faith that gathers together and serves together. Paul said, “We work together as partners who belong to God” (1 Cor. 3:9), and “Under his direction, the whole body is fitted together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts to grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love” (Eph. 4:16).
Where should we serve? I promise you that there is a place for every man in Caleb’s Heart Ministries to use his God-given gifts for something meaningful. Here are some suggestions. We should serve where we’re gifted, work to our strengths. Not everyone is equipped to serve as a WAAWG director, but maybe you can serve on staff. Not everyone can cook a meal for Fight Club, but maybe you can come early and stay late to prepare and pray over the room. A quarterback has different gifts from the guards and tackles who, in turn, have different gifts from the wide receivers. If the offensive linemen are playing quarterback and wide receiver in a game, you’re not going to win. If you get the quarterback playing at an offensive or defensive line position, you’re not going to be very effective. The Miami Dolphins were AFC champions in 1983 and played the Washington Redskins in the Super Bowl. Miami Coach Don Shula was credited with evaluating the talents of his players and building his system around those talents, unlike other coaches who usually built a system and tried to make the players’ talents fit the system. One of the big issues we hear with volunteering today is “burnout.” However, if I am serving in my giftedness, I don’t burn out—I just get fired up because while I’m giving, I’m receiving far more. We should serve where we can be ourselves and use our past experience to God’s glory. All of us have been through some tough trials and coming through them has given us a unique message to share and a lesson to teach. Do you share openly and actively at Fight Club or on a WAAWG? We’re advised in Galatians: “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that” (6:4 THE MESSAGE). A final reason that we should serve is to help where we know of a particular need. Let Caleb’s Heart find the genuine need, and then let people who are particularly gifted rally to meet it. In sum, we should serve where we are gifted, where we’ve had past experiences that have helped us grow stronger in some areas, and where there are clear needs.
How should we serve? We should serve enthusiastically: “Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically” (Rom. 12:11). When people are enthusiastic about what they do, it becomes an invitation for others to follow. Those who are the most enthusiastic about sharing their faith are also the most enthusiastic about serving. You’ve heard that in many organizations 20 percent of the people do 80 percent of the work. That’s a big problem. When people are enthusiastic about where they serve, they rarely complain or gripe. When people are enthusiastically serving, they don’t look for things that are wrong; they look for the things that are right. We are to serve unselfishly. We should serve with humility because we are not placed above others. We serve as Jesus served. Last week we celebrated Maundy Thursday; the Maundy refers to the washing of the feet. The most beautiful mental picture I have of Jesus is of him kneeling to wash his disciples’ feet. We’re not to look for the top position; we’re to look for a towel. Finally, we should serve with the intention of pleasing God alone.
Next Thursday, April 12th, is our kickoff dinner for “Taking The Valley” Wild-Eyed Warrior Challenge. It is a time for commitment. I’m really excited about it. It’s when we’ll have an opportunity to specifically commit to the 2018 vision and mission of Caleb’s Heart regarding Peaceful Valley Ranch. It’s also a time to reflect on how we can support our tribe with our prayers, presence, generosity and service in other ways. Ask God where, what, and how he wants you to commit in the life of this ministry.