"Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good." (1 Cor. 12:4-7 - NASB95)
"To each one..." God has given spiritual gifts to all of His children and He wants them to use those gifts for the common good. Lately I have been spending a lot of time in prayer about this because of the transitions that are happening in our church. This month we have two of our pastor families (Groves and Herringshaws) moving to Idaho to plant a new church. Next month we have an elder family (LaComs) moving to Tehachapi. We have had a number of other families move out of state and even more people graduating to heaven. What that means is there are a lot of opportunities for people to step in and use their spiritual gifts for the common good.
How about you? What spiritual gifts has the Lord given to you? What additional areas of natural giftedness do you have that you could use to build up the body of Christ? There is a need for volunteers in a number of ministries so we can do things excellently for the glory of God.
This year we want to prioritize our ministry to children. We are spending a lot of time and money to renovate the "E" building to house our children's ministry. We hope it will be a beautiful, safe, fun, and useful place in equipping the next generation of leaders in the body of Christ. Do you realize that the largest percentage of unsaved people in most churches are the children? Are you aware that 85% of people who come to faith in Jesus Christ do so between the ages of 4 and 14? Every week we have the privilege of proclaiming the gospel to them and helping those who have responded to the gospel to grow in their relationship with Jesus. What joy there is in heaven when one of them repents (Lk. 15).
Would you prayerfully consider serving in our children's ministry? We have a great team of workers but we can always use more! There are opportunities during both worship services on Sunday morning as well as on Wednesday nights. Contact Xiomara Bueno in the church office if you are interested in knowing more about the many different ways you can serve.
Let me conclude with a story of how God used ordinary folks like you and me to impact people who impacted the world for Christ:
Edward Kimball was concerned about one of his young Sunday School students who worked at a shoe store in town. One day Kimball visited him at the store, found the student working in the back stocking shelves, and led him to Christ, then and there.
Dwight L. Moody eventually left the shoe store to become one of the greatest preachers and evangelists of all time.
Moody, whose international speaking took him to the British Isles, preached in a little chapel pastored by a young man with the imposing name of
Frederic Brotherton Meyer. In his sermon Moody told an emotionally charged story about a Sunday School teacher who personally went to every student in his class and led each of them to Christ.
That message changed Pastor Meyer's ministry, inspiring him to become an evangelist like Moody. Over the years Meyer came to America. While speaking in Northfield, MA a young preacher heard Meyer say, "If you are not willing to give up everything for Christ, are you willing to be made willing?" That remark led
J. Wilbur Chapman to respond to the call of God on his life.
Chapman went on to become one of the most effective evangelists of his time. A volunteer by the name of
Billy Sunday helped set up his crusades and learned how to preach by watching Chapman. Sunday eventually took over Chapman's ministry becoming one of the most dynamic evangelists of the 20th century. Billy Sunday's preaching brought thousands to Christ.
Inspired by a 1924 Billy Sunday crusade in Charlotte, NC a group of Christians dedicated themselves to reaching their city for Christ. The group invited the evangelist
Mordecai Ham to come and hold a series of evangelistic meetings in 1932. A lanky 16-year-old sat in the huge crowd one evening, spellbound by the message the white-haired preacher gave. Each evening the preacher seemed to be shouting and waving his finger at the young man. Night after night the teen came and finally went forward to give his life to Christ.
That teenager was
Billy Graham. Billy Graham has communicated the gospel to more people than any other person in history.
And it all started with a Sunday School teacher named Kimball. Millions have been affected by his decision to go into a shoe store and share Christ with one person. Millions more will continue to feel his impact.
Can something like this happen today? Of course! God wants to use you to change the world. Make an eternal difference by sharing the gospel with those around you and by supporting others who do God's work around the world.