My service is a spiritual matter?
Continuing the Discussion
We’ve talked about our basic rules as worshipers, in general, to minister to God and to minister to people. Let’s focus in a little bit on practically what that could mean for those in our worship ministry. There is always an element where we want to bless and minister to God himself. But admittedly, most of our focus at those times is on practically serving the church. So how do we make sure we are doing a good job blessing and ministering to the Lord? And we must remember that ultimately, the barometer of our service depends more on our growth and intimacy with the Lord rather than people’s opinions of our service.
12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Some churches offer multiple meeting or gathering times, but no matter how often a gathering happens at church, we each will still spend most of our time outside of a gathering of believers. So how often do we worship and offer spiritual service, considering most of our lives are lived outside of the gathered church? I don’t believe it’s an exaggeration to say that it’s the times away from the gatherings that the life of worship is more wholly expressed. The times spent in the Word, prayer, and skills-building at home is the fuel that will make the fire of ministry burn bright.
Practical or Spiritual?
Have you ever considered that working at your area of service in the church as not simply a practical matter but a spiritual one as well? At a conference the couple years ago, I heard Paul Baloche say that personal practice time was a spiritual discipline. I had never thought of it that way before. For those of us who use skills in our service in the church, we are honoring God and obeying commands in scripture when we work at expanding our skillfulness. And in living our lives each day, offering our lives as spiritual service and worship, it all has a place. The preparation time becomes a spiritual discipline and an act of worship. Practicing your instrument, doing vocal exercises, working on your training, spending time critically listening to recordings, they all become acts of worship and spiritual disciplines necessary for growth.
We all come to Christ for salvation empty handed and unable to offer acceptable worship. Christ’s atonement and grace and the empowering of the Holy Spirit makes us able. But spiritual growth requires that we take an active part. In worship, we are not spectators but participants. We must be willing partners with the Holy Spirits work. We must be committed to Christ, trusting in the process as God has outlined in scripture, even if it doesn’t line up with our ideas. We must stick with it and persevere even when our perceived evaluation is that very little growth and change is taking place.
The following are some questions for personal examination:
How am I doing with spiritual disciplines regarding my gifts used in service of the Lord and his church?
Am I giving far too much time to things of little importance and not offering enough time to spiritual disciplines?
What is one simple step I can make to increase my spiritual disciplines in my daily life?