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January 8, 2006
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“A New Year With An Old Vision, Part 2”

January 8, 2006.  Pastor Matt.

 

 

Last week we introduced you to some of the new leadership.  Today we are going to talk about what it means to be a leader within His Church.

 

 

Q. What do leaders do? (to help spread the Word through the whole region)

 

(Let me show you one thing)

 

Read Acts 6:1-7.

 

6:1.  “In those days, when the number of disciples were increasing…”

 

The early church was growing.  As we fulfill God’s calling for our church, it too will continue to grow (gain new believers)

 

(As the church grows, new needs will present themselves.)

 

(The church was started with 13.  There is no way it would have spread if only those 13 were doing their part.)

 

There came a time in the life of the early church when people needed to step up.

 

HELP!!!!  WE , the pastors, cant do this on our own!! 

The church needed table waiters.  Enter the deacon. 

 

A. Leaders serve. 

 

The first deacons recognized the direction/ needs of the church and did their part in making it happen.

 

Verse 3: Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them

 

They were people who were totally controlled by the Holy Spirit.  They were people whose lives were surrendered to the will of God.

 

  

Why should leaders serve?

 

A.  Because, as Christians, we are supposed to serve

 

In Luke 12:35-40.  This is the parable of those who are waiting for Jesus to return. 

(The Christians are waiting)

 

Jesus, when talking about His return, makes note that those who are waiting for Him to return should “Be dressed ready for service” (verse 35) 

 

We are to be waiting for Him in the position of a servant. 

 

A Christian waiting for Jesus to return is pictured as someone who is about the business of a servant, serving faithfully until the Master returns. 

 

We don’t know when He will return, but until that day comes, we need to be about the business of serving others. 

 

In Matthew 25:14-30.  Jesus gives another, yet similar parable of what a Christian is like who is waiting for Jesus’ return.  It is the parable of the talents. 

 

God gives every believer ability that is unique only to them.  An ability that they are suppose to use in service for others. 

 

In this parable, it is a given that a Christian is a person who serves.

 

When a Christian serves, it is a natural indicator of someone who has put their life in His hands. 

 

A person who has Jesus in their heart is a person who has surrendered their whole heart to him.  You must surrender your whole heart to him to be saved.  If your whole heart is surrendered to him, you will become a servant. 

 

Look what he will say to us when we get to heaven: 

 

(Matthew 25:23) “well done good and faithful servant!”

 

Have you ever notices that new Christians are immediately given the desire to serve.  (Maybe it is out of the fresh awareness of the Gift God has given them and their desire to give back) 

 

Some of us may need a fresh reminder of what God has done for us.

 

What is another reason why leaders are supposed to serve?

 

B.  Because Jesus told leaders to serve.

 

Jesus is moments away from being arrested and hung on the cross.  His time of developing the disciples into leaders has come to an end.  One last teaching for the church’s first leadership team:

 

John 13:1-17.

Specifically 13:13-17.

13"You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. 15I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

 

Jesus washes the disciples feet.  We are not better than Jesus.  We are not above Jesus.  Jesus was a foot washer and we should be too.  Jesus said watch how I lead and go and do the same.  Watch how I lead by serving others.

 

Mark 10:35-45.

 

The disciples, James and John wanted positions of power and authority.  They wanted to be the bosses.  Look how Jesus responds to them:

 

Specifically 10:42-45.

42Jesus called them together and said, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Jesus said that His world is different from the world around us. 

 

The world around us tells us shout orders and command people to do things because we are the boss, but Jesus’ way is the exact opposite. 

 

If we want to lead, we must lead by serving.

 

In reality, the leaders are not the ones who want to lead but the ones who are already serving.  Those of you who already serve, are already leaders.  Those of you who are faithful in the little things, will eventually be faithful/ put in charge in greater things.  Those of you who are serving in bigger areas have already proven your service in the little areas. 

This message is not just for the new leadership.  This message is for everyone. 

Everyone has their part in helping Westwood be a light to the Gentiles.

 

What can you do?

 

We are all given gifts and God wants us to use them to serve others.

 

1 Corinthians 12:4-31.

4There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.

 7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.

12The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body.

 

We already know that a Christian is meant to serve others. 

 

This is especially true within the context of the local church.

 

The church is one body with many parts.  Reaching people for Jesus will not work unless we are all doing our part. 

 

Your new leadership is going to lead the way by leading through service.

 

But, how is God calling you to serve?

 

 

Today I am encouraging all of us to use the gifts God has given us to serve others.

 

Fill in the last blank with what God is telling you.

 

 

When this happens, no needs will go unmet.  No life will go unchanged.

 

Closing

Do you know Jesus?