“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” – Colossians 3:23-24
Northstar is a place where many people have found new life. We have seen lives changed, and hearts mended by Christ. The great thing about Northstar is our culture of acceptance and compassion. Ultimately, Northstar is a community of people from many different backgrounds seeking to help the whole world find and follow Jesus.
The reason we are able to provide the environments we provide and fulfill our vision is because Northstar has been blessed with so many people that simply said, “I want to be part of what is happening here” and are willing to do whatever is asked of them. Even so, there are opportunities for anybody who wants to serve. The truth is that every church, Northstar included, has members and regular attenders who prefer to show up on Sundays and go home without any other involvement or commitments. The people that choose not to serve are missing out because serving unlocks God’s blessing in our lives. In John 13, Jesus washes the disciples feet and says that “no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.” While I grant you, it goes against conventional logic that serving others brings greater enjoyment than serving ourselves. Nothing goes against the grain of our culture like putting others ahead of ourselves, but God does not adhere to man’s logic. If you want to be blessed, be a blessing to others.
The Psalmist writes what many of us may be asking ourselves today, “What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits to me? (Psalms 116:12) Let me attempt to answer that question.
Serving is a core value at Northstar because it was at the core of what Christ did for others. And we want to be like Him. Whether serving within the church in one of the many areas to volunteer, or serving outside the walls of Northstar in our community to reach those far from the heart of God, extending help to others reflects Jesus in our lives and brings a sense of purpose and joy to our hearts. There are so many places to serve here at Northstar that can utilize your unique and God-given abilities.
If you have been reluctant to serve in the church, ask yourself this question: Is there anything in your schedule where you’re giving back to God, or are you too busy? Are you waiting for things to slow down? Or do you have other priorities? Have you ever looked at a person and marveled at the potential that individual possesses? And then watch as that potential is realized. People like Andy Stanley, Steve Jobs, LeBron James to name just three. I believe God sees that type of potential in each of us and that if it ever wakes up, it would shake the world. The most important thing you’ll ever do with your life is serving God in ministry. It’s far more important than your career, it’s far more important than your hobbies, it’s even more important than everything else you can think of because they aren’t going to last. But serving will. You were put here on earth to practice serving.
Let me anticipate your next response. Marty, I understand I should serve but I couldn’t shake the world if I had several atom bombs. Don’t be so sure of that. Many years ago, two teenage boys tried to join a church service at night; it was packed out and they couldn’t find any seats. So they turned around and decided to leave because they couldn’t find a seat. But one usher said, “Come on, guys, I’ll find you a seat.” And that usher personally escorted them down to the center and set them in the middle and found them two seats. That night both of those boys accepted Christ and became Christians. One of them was Billy Graham who has now led untold numbers of people to Christ. Do you think that usher is going to be awarded for his service in heaven? I think so.
Here’s the point: we have no idea of the significance of small acts. So, don’t worry how you serve because it doesn’t matter if you’re doing something important that is well known or if you’re doing something important that’s not well known. It’s all important. Don’t mistake anonymous with insignificant or even unnecessary. Just because it’s not known doesn’t mean it’s unnecessary. We need to faithfully serve the Lord in all of our ministry opportunities and never look at them as insignificant. God will use the small for His bigger purposes.
You don’t need to go Bible College or seminary and you don’t even need a title. All you need to do is serve. Someone may ask, “What is my ministry?” Well, if you are doing what the Lord has commanded you to do, you are in the ministry. It might not be a formal ministry task or the function of a church officer, but it is still ministry. You may be a mother, and you love and nurture your children – that is one of your ministries. You may be committed to praying for the members of your church – that is one of your ministries. The point I want to make is that if you are doing what the Lord requires you to do, then you are serving in ministry. Your actions will glorify God and be a benefit to the church.
One day you’re going to stand before God and He’s going to say to you, “What did you do with what I gave you, the talents, the abilities, the background, the experiences, the freedom, the education, the family experiences?
“Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13