How can I serve God through his church without getting crushed by the needs of the world?
1. Sacrifice is the path to the life you’ve always wanted
Romans 12:1–2 (ESV) I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
2. We depend on everyone so no one is crushed
Romans 12:3–8 (ESV) 3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
3. Develop passion about what really matters
Romans 12:9–13 (ESV) 9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
Questions for reflection and conversation:
• What does it mean to present our bodies as living sacrifices? In what sense is this our spiritual worship?
• How can we be transformed by the renewing of our minds? What does this have to do with discerning God’s will?
• What does it mean for us to think of ourselves with sober judgment?
• In what sense are we individually members one of another? What practical difference should this make?
• Discuss the gifts listed in this passage. Do you see all these gifts in use at our church? How can we be better positioned to make room for new people and new gifts to operate in our ministries?
• Why is zeal or passion important in ministry? Discuss how such passion is developed.