Our church has a major issue that needs to be dealt with. I have seen it go on for far too long. It is frustrating me and I cannot sit quietly any more. I am not talking only about Casa View Baptist Church. When I say “our” church I mean “the” church. There is a mentality that is plaguing Christians all over our nation. Too many believers have bought into a lie and it is hurting not only them, but also the church at large. “What is this lie?” you may be asking. Well here you have it:
“GOD CANNOT USE ME.”
Have you ever said this to yourself? Do you believe this? Most Christians do. They have a shallow definition of what it means to be used by God. They mistakenly assert the notion that there are an elite group of Christians whom God uses—pastors, evangelists, worship leaders, etc. Surely these “super Saints” are the only ones that God can really work through to make a difference, right? So many Christ followers just show up on Sunday to sing songs and hear a message. But on Monday when they return to the “real world” they have no hope or confidence that God would have an assignment for them to carry out. They feel they possess no unique skills or abilities. They have nothing that God could work with. Simply put, they have long since given up the idea that poor ole ungifted them can be used by God.
Let me say a couple things here. “Ministry” is not a title. It is not a position. Ministry is finding a need and meeting that need. There is SO MUCH more to be done than preaching and singing. The world doesn’t need another preacher or another worship leader. The world needs EVERY DAY PEOPLE LIKE YOU to let God use them right where they are. That, my friend, is REAL ministry. That’s what makes a difference in a lost and hurting world. That’s what causes the light to shine in the darkness. Quit disqualifying yourself from God’s service. When God wants something done at your job or on your campus, He isn’t gonna call in “Soul Team Six” to get the job done. He is gonna call YOU. I want to share a story with you today that I pray will challenge you to RETHINK what ministry is.
Several years ago, 2010 to be precise, I was eating at the Wendy’s off Lavon Drive in Garland. I was spending some quality time with my Baconator when I noticed that a homeless man had walked in. His beard and hair were way long and very unkempt. His clothes were dirty and wrinkled. But perhaps the most noticeable thing about this man was the fact that he could hardly walk. He had obviously been injured. It took all he had to stand up. I remember seeing him and thinking how rough his life must be. I felt for him. But that's all I did. I did not speak to him, offer to buy him food, etc.
Fast forward a few months. Christie texts me during the day and says "Call me, I have something really awesome to tell you!" I was still teaching at Sachse High School during this time. When I got a break, I called her and she told me that earlier that day she was driving through our community and saw a homeless man walking down the street. She sensed the Lord prompting her to go and talk to him. She was initially reluctant since she had Caris with her and was unsure how safe this would be. But she followed the Lord's leading and stopped to talk to the man. She asked him if he was homeless, did he need help, etc. He instantly opened up to her and said that he was indeed homeless and needed help getting his life back together. Through his tears he talked about how much he had struggled in life. He buried his mom when he was only 8 years old. In 1992, he buried his 11 week old daughter. That past Easter he buried his older brother. His life had been marked with tragedy and sorrow. He had done what many people do in their grief...turned to alcohol. So there he was, a wounded and broken 49 year old man who was living on the streets in this middle class suburban community. His name was Chris. He was the same man I saw in Wendy's a few months before. I (the pastor) did nothing when I saw him. But my stay-at-home wife did something. She reached out to him.
I met Chris that next day. We talked and got to know each other. I heard him share his heart and his need to get his life back together. I found out that he was sleeping behind the Kohl's store in the Firewheel area. He was literally sleeping on the steps behind the store. My wife and I instantly began looking for ways to help Chris. We gave him some blankets to help him stay warm at night. We bought him some new clothes to wear. We even got some friends to help us go in on a hotel room for him when the cold weather got real bad. A few weeks later when Thanksgiving rolled around, we had Chris over to the house. We ate together and watched the Cowboys game. It was an incredible experience. Although he left our community a short time later, we had a couple of months to get to know him and be in his life.
Now let me ask you a question—in the situation with Chris, who was the real minister, my wife or me? You don’t have to answer. We all know. Chris didn’t need a sermon. He didn’t someone to lead him in worship. He needed someone to stop and just listen to him. Someone to simply care. I had been given the same opportunity Christie had, but I dropped the ball. Me, the Reverend. Me, the pastor. The title didn’t mean anything to a hurting and broken man. And yet Christie did not let her lack of a title hold her back. She saw a need. She met that need. THIS IS MINISTRY.
So maybe you have been sitting in the stands as a spectator. Perhaps you have believed that God cannot use you to make a difference—in your home, your neighborhood, your work, your campus. Quit believing the lie. Quit selling yourself (and really God) short. In Psalm 139 David revels in the fact that God made him exactly the way He did. He was woven together by God with accuracy and precision. So perfect was the design of God that all of David’s life is already mapped out. God made us, knows us, and has already prepared us for the work He will call us to. So if God calls you to do something, why would you argue that you can’t? What objection can you possibly raise to the One who made you? If you look and listen, God will show you ministry opportunities all around you. Quit believing the lie. Get out of the stands and get in the game today.