The Local Church: Our Primary Priority For Serving The Lord

Flourishes02

As a Christian blogger, I spend a lot of time ministering to you — readers that I will only meet in heaven. The nature of my disability combined with my abilities as a writer make this ministry the most reasonable way for me to serve the Lord, and I praise Him for using me in this manner. If He draws you closer to Himself through what I write, all glory be to Him! What a privilege to honor Him simply by tapping on a keyboard and filling a computer screen.

I’m thankful for my pastor, elders and church family that affirm my blogging ministry and cheer me on each Sunday. And I hope that, second to honoring Christ, I represent First Baptist Church Weymouth Massachusetts well. The Outspoken TULIP isn’t an official ministry of the church, but I see many people I dearly hope that it serves as a representative of it.

In the past year, the Lord has blessed me with an opportunity to serve Him more directly through a ministry in this church. It’s a behind the scenes job, and very few people even know I do it. The obscurity, quite honestly, is the part I most cherish about the whole thing. In contrast to the highly visible ministry of blogging, this sweet little ministry lets me both serve my church family and keeps me from strutting my stuff.

Yesterday my pastor preached on a passage that reminded me of the joy in humbly serving the Lord within the confines of the local church.

24 A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. 25 And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. 26 But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. 27 For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves. ~~Luke 22:24-27 (ESV)

As he preached, I thought about the two ministries that the Lord has given me. Arguably, I could do both from an attitude of pride. Obscurity doesn’t necessarily equal humility any more than visibility would necessarily equal pride. But there’s something about serving Him in the context of a local church that makes pride a bit more difficult.

People in my church family know me. Some of them have seen my anger; others have seen seen my lack of submission to John. Small churches make it difficult to maintain a facade for very long, even for someone like me who can’t attend midweek functions. Serving a church that knows some of my sins helps to keep me from thinking too highly of myself.

Blogging has its purposes, and I by no means intend to stop doing it any time soon. But I believe that serving the Lord through the local church must be the mandate for each Christian. You may be limited to serving through prayer, or God may allow you to lead the whole women’s ministry. But serving within a church family that knows you well enough to see your sins as well as your virtues has a value far better than anything outside of your church family. If you haven’t yet found a way to serve in your local church, please start praying for opportunities. Believe me, you won’t regret it.

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