Making community work: Taking the initiative to serve

The cross is our model for service. We are called to show the same self-denial, self-control and self-sacrifice – putting others first.

Our culture sees these as dangerously repressive and instead makes virtues out of self-fulfilment, self-realisation and self-indulgence. ‘You’re worth it,’ we’re told. This attitude can creep into the church. Take, for example, our view of spiritual gifts. We often assume we need to work out what our gifts are so we can discover a fulfilling ministry. The Bible never tells us to do this. The point of every passage on spiritual gifts is to encourage Christians to celebrate the diversity in the church (Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12; 1 Peter 4). The Spirit gives gifts to the community for the good of the community – not for personal fulfilment (1 Corinthians 12:7). Individual Christians are told humbly to serve other people and humbly to value the contributions of others.
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3 thoughts on “Making community work: Taking the initiative to serve

  1. Great point – and unfortunately the way of following Christ in self-sacrifice goes against the mainstream direction of many churches, in today’s world.

  2. Serving might be counter-cultural, but it is the way of following Jesus. As He said, in Matthew 20:28, “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

  3. Pingback: Making community work: the centrality of the cross « Tim Chester

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