So much today, in North America, is said about our rights; not much is said about our responsibilities. Growing up, I remember a sign posted in the school that stated: “With every right comes a responsibility.” Have we forgotten this? As a Christian, we have actually given up our ‘rights,’ which is our fleshly desires and will, to God. In submitting to His will, we have privileges as adopted sons and daughters, but with that come responsibilities towards God and the family we call ‘Church.’ The Bible calls us ambassadors of Christ to the world (2 Corinthians 5:20), thusly putting our lives on display as examples. Someone once said, you may be the only Bible people read ... or the only way they see Christ.
Love God and love others is the greatest commandment, according to Jesus Christ (Matthew 22:36-40). In fact, it sums up the ten that God gave to Israel at Mt. Sinai. Paul emphasizes this further in his letter to the Philippians (2:3), saying that we should treat others more highly than ourselves. If we are to stop worrying about our own needs, and focus on meeting the needs of others, then God promises that He will make sure our needs are met (Matthew 6:25-34). Part of caring for others, is getting to know them in a deep and personal level (very counter-cultural right now!!!) so that you can help them grow in their faith, and gently correct them as needed (Galatians 6:1-3). Are you fulfilling the command to share one another’s burdens?
The second responsibility you have as a Christian is commitment. We are to be 100% committed to serving Christ, which includes His church. The writer of Hebrews challenges true believers to gather regularly (this is more than once per month) in order to encourage, exhort and build each other up (Hebrews 10:24-25). This kind of ministry is very hard to do, unless you gather with your local body of believers every Sunday and get to know people (again, at a deep and personal level). You do this by asking their thoughts on the sermon or Sunday School lesson. This is also accomplished by asking how you can pray for them, or even help them during the week to meet needs. Commitment to Christ’s church also involves making disciples, which is part of the great commission to all true believers (Matthew 28:16-20). Discipleship is a lifelong process of leading people to Christ, baptizing them, then teaching them how Christ would have them live. Are you fulfilling the command to make disciples?
When I mention the responsibility of prayer, I must first clarify that this is prayer for others. We can pray for our own needs to be met, but if that is all we pray for, then we are treating God like a vending machine or an obedient Santa Clause. When we focus on praying for others, especially within the body of believers, we will find that we do not need to spend much time praying for our own needs to be met.
Every family has a set of ‘chores’ that benefit the entire family, and they are generally divided up among the members according to each person’s interests and abilities. Likewise, in the church, there are tasks that each member is gifted in (by the Holy Spirit), and if a person does not fulfill his or her task, it causes the entire body to suffer. Every member of the family, no matter age nor ability, has something they can do to benefit the whole group. If you were to join a sports team, you would strongly desire playing time, and not just sit on the bench; so why do some of you come to church, and just sit on the bench? Paul explains how to do this in his letter to the Romans (12:10-13). “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” Are you fulfilling the command to serve one another with gladness?
“Friend, by joining this church, you will become jointly responsible for whether or not this congregation continues to faithfully proclaim the gospel. That means you will become jointly responsible both for what this church teaches, as well as whether or not its members’ lives remain faithful. And one day you will stand before God and give an account for how you used this authority. Will you sit back and stay anonymous, doing little more than passively showing up for 75 minutes on Sundays? Or will you jump in with the hard and rewarding work of studying the gospel, building relationships, and making disciples? We need more hands for the harvest, so we hope you’ll join us in that work.” (taken from Pastor Jonathan Leeman of TGC)
1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
Opportunities at Grace Bible Church of Dauphin
If you are unsure of how you can be involved, ask those who know you ‘Where would I fit in best?’ Here are some of the ways people are involved:
- Leadership Team as deacon, deaconess, elder
- Ministry Leader, heading up a small group, service leader, Club DJ, Moms & Tots
- Christian Education: teacher, helper, babysitter
- Worship: musician, technology, usher/greeter, decorator
- Behind the Scenes: prayer warrior, bulletins, website, counter, research and organization
- Hospitality: social convenor, kitchen work, cards, visitation
- Facility Management: repairs, janitorial, mowing, snow removal
- Community relations and programs
- Missions: communication with missionaries, promotion of missions
- Dauphin Bible Camp: Board Member (Church Rep), volunteer staff, speaker