God’s Gifts of Service, Ministry, and Caring for the Needs of Others in the Church
A. The List of Service Gifts (Romans 12:6-8; 1Cor 12:28)
1. Prophecy – Speaking Up for God
2. Ministry / Helps – Holding Up the Brethren
3. Teaching – Instructing People
4. Exhorting – Urging and Encouraging Others
5. Giving – Sharing With Others
6. Governments / Ruling – Governing and Managing People
7. Mercy – Showing Compassion on Others
B. What are these gifts?
1. They are Motivational gifts – things that God has us doing to bless the people in our church
2. They encourage and motivate believers into stronger living for the Lord Jesus
3. A church full of people with these gifts is the most blessed!
C. There is a companion list of emphasis that goes with each gift in Romans 12:9-21. This list is almost more important that the gifts themselves – they represent the things to beware of and things to develop with a gift. They constrain us! Without this list, the gifts of prophecy, teaching, ministry, exhorting, giving, governing, and mercy won’t work at all!
II. Message – The Service Gift of Ministry / Helps – Holding Up the Brethren
A. Best Definition (Description) of the Gift.
1. Ministry means “serving” – to give things needful; to supply the means of relief; to relieve.
2. Two kinds of service in God’s kingdom
a. Everyone is commanded by God to minister to each other – serve each other – edify each other (Rom 15:2)
b. But there are those that have been gifted with that spiritual ability of “ministry” (Rom 12:7a)
c. This is the same word as Deacon in the Bible – “Ordained Servant!”
d. EXAMPLE: two kinds of waiters at a restaurant:
1) Those that are there because it is a job
2) Those that are there because it is their pleasure – they really enjoy serving people!
3. This gift of ministry holds a church together – it is the glue, the binding cords that make sure everyone is being ministered to in a church!
a. In the tough times, it pulls us all together
b. In the times of weakness, it drives men and women to reach under the arms of fallen soldiers and carries them forward
c. I picks up the weaker brethren, the defeated, the discouraged, the empty (Gal 6:1)
d. EXAMPLE: a small ship is riding through a storm, and it starts to creak, and crack, and split, and leak – out come the “helps” (Acts 27:14-17) that would be wound tight around the craft in the area of the ship that was coming apart.
4. Now, we all are supposed to “pull together” – but there are some that God specially equips to really bless as they help us and hold us together in times of storm and trial!
5. This gift is the God-given ability to serve others. Sound exciting? These people are the unsung heroes of the church! These are the people who are willing to work behind the scenes at those necessary but unglamorous tasks. Whether it is serving individuals, or the whole church together, the gift is the same and equally necessary. Apart from these servants the church would be crippled. For a church's livelihood to be vibrant, there must be those who are willing and eager to take care of the needs of the brethren in that church.
B. The Gift of Serving is the Least Exciting Gift
1. We just went from the greatest gift (prophecy) and the next gift is the least exciting – wow!
2. This gift seems rather bland to some people, and not too exciting. But when you find yourself on the receiving end of a helper, a Minister, a Supporter, your perspective will change! This gift is vital! Those who have this gift use it to our benefit, and those who fail to exercise this gift do so to our hurt.
3. Why is it so unglamorous?
a. Because it the taking on of the role of a lowly servant – a supporter of the work of a church
b. Not talking about a slave! A slave has no choice in the matter
c. A servant chooses to serve, and serves out of a beating, pulsing drive from the heart to minister to others
d. Because the Lord has directed that the best leaders will be the greatest SERVANTS (Mt 20:26)
C. Examples of this Gift in Action
1. Best example is, Jesus washing the disciple’s feet (John 13:1-17)
a. As a Servant, Jesus LOVED the ones he ministered to (13:1)
b. As a Servant, Jesus HUMBLED Himself – took off the plain garment He wore, and put on an even LOWER style of clothes!!! Stepped DOWN in fashion!
c. As a Servant, Jesus met the most embarrassing needs – the washing of stinking, dirty feet – have you ever just LOOKED at feet? Especially feet that did a lot of walking BAREFOOT?
d. As a Servant, Jesus was misunderstood and rejected by those He was trying to bless
e. As a Servant, Jesus was doing His father’s will, not His, and NOT theirs!
f. As a Servant, Jesus was an example for others to become servants also
g. As a Servant, Jesus was Happy
2. You see, Jesus came not to be worshipped and served at first, but to serve:
a. Matthew 20:28
b. Philp 2:5-7
3. The Stephanas Family (1Cor 16:15) – addicted themselves to ministering to others!
4. The Apostle Paul (1Cor 9:19-22)
D. How to tell if you have the Gift of Ministry and Helps
1. You see and earnestly desire to meet practical needs (Philp 2:20)
2. You disregard Weariness
3. You have a hard time saying No to people’s requests
4. You have a knack for knowing what really blesses people. You make things special for people
5. You are driven by short-range and immediate needs – you find it hard to make long term plans
6. You enjoy putting extra touches on the jobs you do
7. You are burdened to pray for people, and trust God for them, especially when they don’t have the faith to trust the Lord at the moment (Philp 4:19)
E. The Dangers of Ministering, Helping, Serving…
1. You can get lonely, being unnoticed by people – can turn into resentment
2. You will often find yourself neglecting your own home as you minister to others so much
3. You will wear yourself out, overextending yourself – share the load, don’t take it all on yourself
4. You will find it hard to step back when God is chastising someone (The prodigal’s FATHER in Luke 15 had to step back or else his son would NEVER have gotten right)
F. How to Best Serve and Minister to one Another – check yourself that you are serving as Christ did!
1. Make sure you are under authority and not in rebellion to your authority (Luke 7:1-10) – therefore, this person who has this gift will struggle the most with authority over their lives!
2. Serve as unto the Lord (Eph 6:7; 1Cor 7:23; 2Cor 8:3-5; Col 3:23)
3. Serve everyone – no hypocrisy (Mt 25:42-45)
4. Serve fervently (Rom 12:11; with energy and passion) – knowing just how important you are
5. Serve embarrassingly (Acts 6:1-4; 1Tim 5:9,10)
6. Serve faithfully (Matthew 24:45-47)
7. Serve patiently (2Tim 2:24)
8. Serve painfully (2Cor 6:4-10; Matt 10:24,25) – He saved others, himself he cannot save!!!
A. One sure mark of a Christian is his concern to help others. The gift involve a giving, a serving, a help that is above and beyond the expected.
B. Like the good Samaritan in our Lord's parable who got his hands dirty with another man's need and also spent his own money to restore his well-being, the person with the gift of helps is blessed by our Lord’s attention and ultimate commendation “Well Done thou good and faithful servant.
C. Ministry means “serving” – to give things needful; to supply the means of relief; to relieve.
D. It is funny and sad at the same time that Christians serve so tirelessly their boss, or their families, but never the people in their own church! It is an epidemic of apathy towards the local church – to the family of God that the Lord has placed a believer into.
E. This gift of ministry holds a church together – it is the glue, the binding cords that make sure everyone is being ministered to in a church!
F. Now, we all are supposed to “pull together” – but there are some that God specially equips to really bless as they help us and hold us together in times of storm and trial!
G. This gift is the God-given ability to serve others. You are the unsung heroes of this church! You are the people who are willing to work behind the scenes at those necessary but unglamorous tasks. Thank you for being willing and eager to take care of the needs of the precious people in this church. Thank you!
H. And it all began with Jesus, who came to minister to your and my lost sinful soul! He wants to save you! Let Him!
Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland