Me to We: Spiritual Contributors
Since we started Northstar, we have focused on adding partners, not members. Membership implies privilege and status while partnership implies shared responsibility and sacrifice. We believe that God has called us each to be partners with Him in mission. And He has called us to partner together as the church to further the gospel. In essence, we are spiritual contributors, not spiritual consumers. We want to be a church where people give more than they receive. Where people serve more than they’ve been served. Where people love more than they’ve been loved. A church passionate about reaching those far from the heart of God whether they live next door or on the next continent.
Something To Talk About:
It is easy to be a consumer and take more than we give. It can also become how we view our relationship with God. Our prayers are like letters to Santa Claus. Our relationship with God is often based on what God does for us rather than what we can do for God. But that is not how we become spiritual contributors.
- We are not spiritual consumers, we are spiritual contributors: We aren’t made to just go to church, hear a sermon, sing a song and go home. God created us uniquely – with a unique set of talents and gifts because He has a mission for us to do something with them. He isn’t giving you the tools to look at them and admire them. He is giving you the tools to use them. 1 Corinthians 14:26 says, “Well, my brothers and sisters, let’s summarize. When you meet together, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in tongues, and another will interpret what is said. But everything that is done must strengthen all of you.” When the early church believers gathered, every one expected to bring something to bless others. Everyone was a minister who used their gifts to strengthen the church. They didn’t expect to sit back and be served. They didn’t expect to be entertained. In short, the early believers didn’t have a consumer mentality, they had a servant, or contributor’s mentality.
- God calls you to serve in His church: In Mark 10:45, Jesus says, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:43 says, “Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant,” Serving is at the heart of Jesus’ ministry. God serves others through us. Making the connection between Jesus feeding the five thousand and setting up a food pantry is easy. Jesus calls us to be more than good waitstaff. “Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” (Ephesians 6:7) For almost two thousand years, God’s people have faithfully served in the church. There are many opportunities to serve within the church and outside our walls to our neighborhood, our city and beyond. If there is a ministry that speaks to your heart and your faith, take a risk and serve.
- God calls you to serve as His church: We don’t go to church—we are the church. The church is not a building or an event. It’s people. It makes no difference if we gather in a brick building with pews and stained glass, a renovated storefront, a multi-purpose room, a megachurch, a coffee shop or a house. The church is not just people, it’s people who meet together for worship, fellowship, discipleship and more. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16) We don’t need a building to do that. But we do need Jesus – and each other.
- Share how you have been served and loved by our church.
- Where did you land on the consumer-to-contributor scale? What contributed to your number?
- Serving, teaching, encouragement, giving, leadership, kindness. etc. — which gifts has God given you?
- Jesus said that “You are the light of the world.” How does this play out in your life?”
- If this group was known for one thing, what would you want it to be? Love, service, compassion, generosity, etc?
- What can we do different as individuals and as a group this week to become more of a spiritual contributor?
- What actions will we take individually and as a group to “be the church?”
Take One Thing Home with You:
Christianity is not a spectator sport. At Northstar, we are committed to being participants not fans, players not spectators, givers not takers, contributors and not consumers. We work to be active accomplices in God’s work rather than critics or armchair observers. We simply would like to see every person contribute to the cause of Christ.
We believe worship is a lifestyle. It is living every moment with the purpose of bringing glory to God. It is not just singing a song or a just a style of music. We don’t come to “worship service” to sit and soak up what is happening around us, but to be a blessing and to serve others. Each Christian is a vital part of the body of Christ, whose gifts and abilities are necessary for a full and vibrant life.