Sunday, October 21, 2007

Personal ministry theme

Our theme at church is "personal ministry." It has been a great challenge to me to get out of my comfort zone, and do things for God's glory in the hearts of others. Today, we studied about how we can minister to other believers. Specifically, stages in spiritual maturity... and how the cycle works.

Hebrews 5:11-6:2
11 Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of
righteousness, for he is an infant.
14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.
1 Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
2 of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment.

Titus 2:1-8
1 But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.
2 Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance.
3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good,
4 so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,
5 to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.
6 Likewise urge the young men to be sensible; in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified,
8 sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.

Ephesians 4:11-16

11And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,
12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;
13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;
15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,
16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint
supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

When we first become a christian, our spiritual understanding is limited to basics, then we start growing and applying the things we learn (this is where we have to face the problems of our life), then we grow into a mature believer (serving others, having a good solid knowledge of scripture), the last stage is leadership (influencing others, being able to teach). Now we aren't completely in one stage. Even people in the leadership stage will go back to the basics and the application stages. In general, the goal of personal ministry is to get to that leadership stage, and help people in the other stages to get to that stage (or at least be able to teach the basics). Pastor Tim used the analogy of a good coach. A good coach knows what an athletes level of play is, he also knows what the athlete is able to do, and knows what needs to be changed in order to get to maximum performance. We need to be the same toward others.

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