Wednesday, April 15, 2009

what are you lifting up?

What are you lifting up?  That is one great question in the context that I move in and out of each day.  The big issue that most people in ministry and in church life have to deal with is the fact that all of us are in the same business.  It is not about lifting up our church or our ministry.  It is about lifting up our God.
 
As I reflect back on Easter Sunday and our work through SERVolution I notice that something happened in my mind, in my leadership and to thousands of others involved in that 7 day project.  We dropped our personal banners and our personal agendas for one purpose.  That purpose was to lift up Jesus.  Literally we came together to make JESUS famous.
 
Ask yourself this question: what are you lifting up?
 
My answer can be seen in several things (some of you may think that I am blowing my own horn or bragging, but that couldn't be further from the truth).  First and I admit it that I want to see our church full, yet I believe that we are to serve the people of our community and not expect them to come to our church.  We serve them with the agenda of seeing that they hear about and hope they respond to Jesus, the only hope we have.  Second and I have to choose daily to do this, to make sure that Jesus is higher on my list than I am.  You see, I have a tendency (as most do) to think more of me than I do others.  Third and what thrills me most about serving, when we do things for people and expect nothing in return, that is when we look the most like Jesus.
 
Does that make sense?  Yes, we have a church sign on our building, and my business cards tell people what church I pastor.  Yes, I'm working to see The Community Fellowship grow in every way possible.  But I want every church in our community to see people changed.  What are we lifting up?
 
John 12:32 (nlt) --- And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.
 
Philippians 2:3 (nlt) --- Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.
 
1 Peter 5:6 (nlt) --- So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.
 
But the best answer is what Jesus said:
 
Matthew 23:11 (nlt) --- But the greatest among you shall be your servant.

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