Life On Mission: Service
God has called you on mission. He has a purpose for you. He is depending on you. It is a mission of life and death, literally. It is about making a difference now and for eternity. In this series we’ll look at actions that will help us be on mission and form our mission agenda. If you are not in heaven yet, God still has a purpose for you. Embrace it and engage it and make a real difference.
Something To Talk About:
Serving is a key to fulfilling God’s mission. Mark 10:43 – 45 states “…Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. 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.”
Connecting to the unconnected:
- A significant part of living on mission is serving. It includes developing a servant’s heart — seeing the needs around you and striving to meet them. This includes all the people and places you find yourself. Jesus called us to go into all the world, so our service must extend beyond our normal everyday situations. Every Christ-follower should seek to be involved in some form or fashion in each area, whether through prayer, giving, or serving.
- Jesus was asked one day, “What is the greatest commandment?” He said the greatest commandment has two parts; love God and love your neighbor as yourself. He was then asked, “Well, who is my neighbor?” Jesus tells this person the story of the good Samaritan, the Levite, priest, and Samaritan, which illustrates the good and bad of neighbors.
- A bad neighbor is the one who has to go out of his way to avoid doing the right thing. The Good neighbor looks through the lens of compassion. The priest and the Levite saw the guy, but they didn’t see the guy because they did not have any compassion for the injured man. One of the reasons we’re not better witnesses to our neighbors is because we just don’t see our neighbors. We don’t have a lens of compassion for them at all. We can’t understand their perspective; understand where they’re coming from. The only way that we’re going to complete our mission is if we can see them and if we put on the lens of compassion.
- What does a Good Samaritan do? He went to him and bandaged his wounds, poured on oil and wine, set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn. On the next day when he departed, he took out two coins, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, “Take care of him, and whatever you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.”
- Being a good neighbor is really just about opening your eyes to the simple things you can do to help someone in need. It’s really just that. What can you do? It’s also about relationships. The mission of witness is about relationship. Don’t forget that. It’s always about relationship. He realizes that this is not just I’m going to help this guy and I’m going to go on my way. He’s going to come back. He’s going to be in a relationship.
- Stop. The first thing we do is we stop. That’s the problem. Instead of passing by on the other side, you’ve got to stop. I honestly believe that the greatest hindrance to the mission of Jesus is the busyness of His people. I really think that’s the problem. We just don’t have time to stop. We need to stop even when stopping inconveniences us.
- Serve is action step 2. That’s about them coming into the house. Hanging out in the backyard is one thing but going into their house is like this new level of relationship. Unless they see that happen, we can connect all we want to, but it’s not going to do any good until they understand that we actually do care about them.
- Luke 10:36-37 closes the story of the Good Samaritan: “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked. The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.” Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”
- What are your initial thoughts about this message?
- How many times have you heard this story? Did you learn something new this time?
- Are there ways that we wrongly make serving only about ourselves?
- What is it about serving others that you find hard to do? What are some things that have prevented you from serving others in the past? What are the wrong motivations you struggle with when serving others?
- How does an attitude of humility help you make serving and putting others first a priority in your life?
- Why might we have expected the priest or the Levite to help? What reasons do you think they might have had for walking by on the other side?
- What reasons might the Samaritan have had for going on by like the others? Why did he stop to help?
- Which of the acts that the Good Samaritan does is hardest for you? (Compassion, Physical Ministry, Time or Money) How can we go and do the same?
- How can serving others remind you of your status with Jesus?
- Read John 13:1-17. What are practical ways you can serve in your every day life? What are ways we as a small group can serve?
- What will you change this week as a result of this message?
Take one thing home with you
We are all broken people, living in a broken world. It’s that simple. Unfortunately, no one is exempt from the effects of sin. The good news for all of us is that Jesus steps into the midst of our brokenness, is near to us, and makes us whole in His love. What’s even more amazing is God wants to use you to see past the broken exterior to the hearts of the people in your life. Brokenness can often make us hard, bitter, and difficult to deal with. But we’ve been given the call to see past that hard exterior and love people in the midst of their pain.