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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gifted to glorify God

by Brad Houchin
My wife and I have been serving in the church for a little over 17 years now. Our introduction to ministry began as volunteers with a youth ministry. We had two roles, crowd control and helping with events. Over time, the responsibilities began to change along with our hearts.  We grew in confidence and began to say, “yes” to more and more opportunities; eventually, leading to a paid position as a student pastor.

We have always loved hanging out with students; but reflecting back over the years, becoming a “student pastor” never was the goal. In fact, right after our first son, Clayton, was born in 1999; Teresa and I had both made the decision to take time for family and be done with student ministry. We had just landed at a new church home and the time to make this ministry break was available for us. Well...less than 10 months later we were leading student ministries again, and in 2004 we left a job of 12 years and took a full-time position as Director of Student Ministries at Crosswinds Community Church in Bloomington, IL. God had instilled in us a passion for young people and we could not say, “no” to serving.

What about you? What are you really passionate about? What ministry needs do you see? Are you choosing to respond relevantly?

If you are a follower of Christ, then God has uniquely gifted you for ministry and he has surrounded you with ministry opportunities to use those gifts. The challenge is overcoming the many reasons we can come up with....
  • I am too busy with work… I don’t know what to say to people 
  • I don’t do youth (I ran across this one many times in my ears of youth ministry searching for volunteers) 
  • I don’t want to miss church services
  • I don’t know the Bible well enough
  • I have too much of a past
We can miss opportunities to use our gifts for numerous reasons; but, what we need to understand is - the opportunity in front of each of us is twofold.  It is about God impacting others through you, and also about you simply saying, “yes.”

Ministry that is relevant is responsive... for the purpose of bringing glory to God.

1 Peter 4:10-11, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.  If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”

If he has given you gifts, passion, and opportunity; then he will lead and guide you along the path for relationship with him and to glorify him.

Philippians 2:13, “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”

The turning point in our relationship is when we realize we have these gifts from him; but, we can’t carry out the work he has for us without him. God wants to come alongside us and help us to obey him and then gives us the power to do what he wants. We then need to respond to him and submit to his control and let him work in our lives.

At the point Teresa and I chose to say, “yes” to working with the youth full-time, we said, “yes” to obedience and the calling he had for us. We have not turned back, our journey is an experience with God we would not trade for the “plans” we had for our lives.  He has led us each step of the way and has allowed us the privilege to be used for his glory.

“Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” - 1 Corinthians 10:31b

Maybe it isn’t a full-time ministry position for you, but what is God asking of you?
What area can He be glorified through your life?
How can hearts be reached by your response of obedience to God?

Take some time with God and reflect what he has placed in your heart - what is He asking of you?

Ministry is one of the evidences of what Relevant Ministry calls - the "7 Marks of Spiritual Health".  RM Coaching helps you to assess all 7 Marks, providing an insightful check-up for personal spiritual health.  The RM team is writing about all 7 Marks, focusing on one topic a month with a new Blog article each week.  The topic this month is Ministry.  Please feel free to comment and join in on the conversation.

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RM’s vision - to equip leaders to minister relevantly in churches that will be healthy and thriving.

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Training future leaders - Building healthy ministries - Serving on the Gulf Coast

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