This weekend I preached from Luke’s passage when Jesus sends the disciples out with power and authority. They were told to take nothing with them. All they would have would be the power, authority and mission Christ gave them. The sermon was a chance to emphasize the role of service in our Christian faith.
If we’re not serving, what are we doing? Probably taking care of ourselves, but I won’t preach that sermon today.
Instead, I want to introduce you to Betty. When I first saw Betty’s story I teared up. Before I go any further, please meet Betty.
++If you’re reading by email or newsreader, click here to meet Betty.++
I watched this several times, and I am inspired–like literally Holy Ghost inspired.
Betty heard a call. And she responded. She pushed through excuses, fear and everything else that would keep a lot of us from serving. I hope we can learn from her.
We’ve been given the same power, authority and calling Christ gave the first disciples. You know the story, though. Somewhere all that got mixed up and we have left our first love (Revelation 2). I told the church this Sunday I am on a mission to get rid of church volunteers. There’s a difference between volunteers who are used to telling God and others what they will do and disciples who respond to God with a faithful, “Here, I am, Lord!”
I don’t know for sure, but I don’t think Betty would consider herself a church volunteer. She is a disciple.
Once, at a church meeting, we introduced a new committee member. The others welcomed her and asked if there were any particulars she wanted to cover. Her response was simple and has remained deeply rooted in my faith: Lead me where you need me.
Let me repeat…Lead Me Where You Need Me
That’s not a volunteer speaking. That is a disciple of the Risen Christ who understands the Holy Spirit is at work and wants us to respond. As one author put it, the Holy Spirit is not a tool of the church. The church is a tool of the Holy Spirit. How unfortunate it is that we forget that.
So, are you ready to stop volunteering and ready to allow the Holy Spirit to lead? What do you feel God calling you to do lately?
Then Jesus called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. He said to them, ‘Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money—not even an extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there, and leave from there.Wherever they do not welcome you, as you are leaving that town shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.’ They departed and went through the villages, bringing the good news and curing diseases everywhere.