Last week we looked at how God called us out of the world in order to send us back into the world with the message of hope. That hope is found in the person of Jesus Christ. And we are the carriers of His Hope. His local church is the hope of the world. The apostle Paul says, “Christ in you (i.e. us, the church) the hope of glory.” (Col. 1:27)
To effectively carry this mission into the world Jesus gave us five purposes. These are the five reasons why His church exists. Two from the Great Commandment (Matt. 22:37-39): Worship and Ministry. Three from the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19-20): Fellowship, Discipleship, Evangelism. “Worship” is loving God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. “Fellowship” builds warm and intimate relationships among members of the church. “Discipleship” is your daily desire to become Christ-like. “Ministry” is loving others as yourself. And “Evangelism” is making Jesus known wherever you go.
Today we start a series on the fourth purpose: Ministry. This is the essence of showing Jesus’ love to others. People can’t see Jesus. They see us, His church. We are His hands and feet. Jesus defines ministry this way, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt. 22:39). Loving others is the heart of ministry. How do you do that? One word: Serving. It is impossible to love without serving. True love, serves.
What does love look like? It looks like serving the families of our preschool through a Banquet two Friday nights ago where mum and dad had a lovely evening to themselves over a three-course meal in an ambient surrounding with soft background live music and all a while their children are being looked after. That was ministry. That was Jesus serving those families of our community through His church, St James.
There has been so much praise, commendation and positive feedback from the Banquet. Everyone spoke highly of the evening. They felt well looked after and catered for. When asked if they would like to have this event again there was a resounding, “Yes! Do it again please!” That sums up ministry. That’s what serving love does. It’s irresistible.