“What happens next?”
May 8th 2016
Introduction: Things my mother taught me, (share from sheet.)
Today is Mother’s Day, and in my way of thinking it is very appropriate for us to talking about servant leadership during this season of the year. Not only did our Lord and Savior, Jesus model for us how to lead in life by being a servant, our mothers also modeled servant leadership for us.
During this series of sermons on the subject of servant leadership we have talked about a number of characteristics of a servant leaders. We started off talking about the fact that all of us who claim Jesus as Lord and seek to follow after his example are “Called and Strengthened” for the tasks we are involved in. We trust in the leading of God’s Spirit within us to live our lives for God’s glory and the building of his kingdom here on earth. We are to take the light of God’s love to the nations, starting right here in our neighborhoods, homes, schools, work places and places of leisure activity.
We spent some time talking about what it means to be Spiritually Centered in Christ Jesus. As servant leaders we are to lead from a heart that is filled with God’s peace. We experience healing and wholeness and are willing to sacrifice unselfishly the opportunity to share the good news of God’s love. Now at this point if some of these characteristics sound a bit like the mother you knew growing up, well then, I would say we are right on track.
We spent some time talking about the importance of Listening to the still small voice of God within us. How it is ok to give yourself the gift of solitude. How not to feel guilty because you take time for yourself and God to talk together. The importance of our really listening and responding to all that God has to say to us. We talked about how God sometimes speaks to us through the voices of other people and that we need to be sensitive to what is being shared with us. How God speaks to us through the words of the Bible and in creation around us.
Mission and Expectations were the next two areas that we spent time looking at. Our purpose, our ultimate goal as believers is be reconcilers of all people to the God who loves them.
Ex. The NIV version of the Bible records our calling in 2 Corinthians 5:17-18: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ AND gave us the ministry of reconciliation.”
We have a message, a mission, if you will, to share this message of God’s love and grace with the world. In sharing this message, we fulfill God’s calling in our lives to be reconcilers of others. It really is just that simple!
Now today we are going to spend some time talking about the characteristics of Outcome and Joyfulness. We are to put our complete faith and trust in God for the outcome of our efforts and in doing so we experience un-explainable joy regardless of the circumstances.
Before I move on and unpack these two areas I want to say just a few words about Garrett’s message and theme from last week, “Servant’s heart.” I felt Garrett presented a truly Spirit lead message that lent itself really well to what we are talking about in the whole area of Servant leadership.
Many years ago now when I experienced God’s call on my life for ministry as a pastor, I took sometime to pray and listen to God about his plan and direction for my life. By the way, there are many kinds of ministry and offices of service in the Body of Christ, the church. As I considered the persons I had known as ministers in my short life at that time, one characteristic kept coming up over and over, Servants heart! What does it mean to have a servants heart or perhaps a shepherds heart? I did not ask God to make me a great speaker/preacher, or to make me into a great teacher or evangelist, I asked God to give me a heart for his people. At first, I limited those people, to those who were within the Church, but over time God showed me that his heart is for all people everywhere. We heard Garrett talk about the people had encountered during the preceding week and how he responded to their needs in a Christian way. Yes, I have grown up since those days and I have to wonder what my mother might think of the man I have become?
A.) What would my mother or your mother think of the outcome of her efforts?
1. In the love and discipline, yes, discipline that I received from both my father and mother, there was growth and development that was needed by me.
2. That love and nurturing was balanced with the disciple that a very active youngster needed to learn respect and consideration for others.
3. We trust God to bring about the results as we seek to be faithful in sharing what God puts on our hearts for ourselves and for others we come in contact with, starting with ourselves, our families and moving out from there.
4. When we are called to the role of a servant leader, when we are called by God to this task, we are saying that we are willing to make the necessary sacrifices to see the task completed.
5. Isn’t this just like our mother’s?
Ex. When I think about people who are willing to make sacrifices in their lives for the good of others, mothers are the ones who usually come to my mind!
II.) Unexplainable joy regardless of the circumstances.
A.) When we pour ourselves into something so completely there is great joy when it is completed.
1. How do you think your mother felt when you grew to be an adult and had started your journey with a career perhaps and a family of your own to care and provide for?
2. How do you think she felt when you graduated from school and pursued a career with the God given gifts and abilities you had worked to develop?
3. How do you think she felt when you reached levels of accomplishment and made your contributions to God and community?
4. I believe that it is the very thing that causes joy in the hearts of our mothers!
5. I also believe it causes joy in God’s heart to see his children working to share the message of love and peace that they have received for themselves with others.
6. We have a tremendous privilege and responsibility to fulfill God’s call on our lives with the strength God has provided for us.
7. As we listen and shape our lives for his glory we recognize the mission and expectations God has for us.
8. The outcome brings about great joy when we seek with a full heart to share the message of love, peace, hope and joy with our world.
Conclusion to message: It is Mother’s Day and we are here to give glory and honor to God. We are here to show the outcome of lives that have been shared with us and that have impacted our lives. It brings great joy to God and to our mother’s when we seek to be faithful to the mission of sharing Christ Jesus with the world. Amen.