Friday, August 17, 2012

maximize what you do

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.

Mother Teresa lived to serve others.
One of my favorite places is the Dream Center in Los Angeles.  I’ve spent the last day and half soaking in more of the vision and outreach of this place and how God is using it to serve the people of the Los Angeles area and far beyond.  I’d like to share some thoughts that have come out of conversations on this trip.

For a long time I have believed that we will find purpose in life when we begin to serve others, and through serving God shows up in our hearts and through what we do.  The people who have influenced us are the people who show up the most.  They are servants.  So literally “who shows up the most wins”.  Want to change the world?  Then begin to show up in the areas where you want to see change.

Jonathan Martinez leads outreach ministries here, and he talked about maximizing what you have and what you do.  You don’t have to have lots of resources or lots of people.  You simply have to see a need and begin to meet the need. 

To maximize is an awesome concept.  Too many people are waiting on the right time or to have more people around or for more money so that they will begin to serve others.  That is the wrong thing to do.  The right thing is to take the time you have, the resources you have and use them to serve others beginning now.  It begins with one person at a time.

Serving meets the needs people have, but the reason we serve is because Jesus served others.  Because of what He has done for us, we do for others.  By serving people we win the right to share Jesus with them.  Remember, whoever shows up the most in people’s lives will win the battle of influence.  By showing up we will win the hearts of the people around us.  That can be, and should be, the people in our home.  Serve at home.  This ought to be the people at work, our neighbors, our community and beyond.

It bothers me greatly when church people take mission trips to serve in far off places but never serve at home.  Herb Hodges, a mentor of mine from Memphis, said “the light that shines farthest must shine brightest at home”.  That is a simple and profound truth.  Serving comes from a heart for God and a heart for people. 

Our churches are made by God, gifted by God and placed by God to make a difference in our communities.  But we have the tendency to allow the workings of the church to get in the way of serving people.  That is when we focus more on programs then people, more on money than on meeting needs of hurting people.  We must be careful not to build systems and programs that simply prolong or build the mechanism known as the church.  Everything the church does should be about building people and plugging people into God.

Serving will win our communities.  Serving will change our hearts and then will change others.  It is time that we maximize what God has given us and the time we have.

Thoughts on being a servant from Pastor Tommy Barnett:

-- find a need and fill it.  A servant does that and is successful.
-- Want to work at the church? Find a need there and fill it. Don't ask for a job. Meet the need. You'll get hired.
-- There is somebody who needs you. Someone needs to be loved. There are so many hurts in this world. Find a need & fill it.
-- “Everyday of my life I make serving God the business of my day” - quoting Florence Nightingale.
-- Jesus never concerned himself with a title but sought to be a servant
-- Servants are remembered. Not titles.
-- If I take care of the moment, the other times will take care of itself. Live in the will of God now.
-- Don't quit. You'll be great if you stay. Keep meeting needs. Great men are ordinary men that won't quit.

Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.

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happy birthday, Julie

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