These lessons are part of a series of bulletin inserts at Blainesburg Bible Church. The online versions contain minor edits for the expanded online audience. This is the final lesson in this series that was originally released on April 28, 2019.
Please read lessons 1-6 before reading this final one in the series on Body Ministry. The prior lessons give all the background needed for the application of this one to be effective.
Serving in Body Ministry
Over the years I have been learning to do what is needed. It does not matter what it is as the Lord has built into me a measure of versatility. When I began to be under Pastor Frank C. Menhart Jr.’s leadership as my pastor again, I told him I would do whatever he needs done. I told him I would clean toilets if that was what was needed. It was not a false humility, I committed to do what was needed. Why? Well, I have the examples of Jesus, the godly leaders in the bible, and of Pastor Frank and other men of God to emulate.
Why did I mention what I said about cleaning toilets? It is because of what happened on my first day as assistant pastor. The service and the meeting where the church voted for me to be assistant pastor was over. Everyone had gone home except for Pastor Frank and his wife Ruth along with myself and my wife Tina. Someone noticed one of the toilets needed cleaned during a restroom check before locking up. Pastor Frank put on some cleaning gloves and headed into the restroom to clean the toilet. I told him I would do it. He told me that since he already had the gloves on he would do it. I assisted by getting the cleaning materials. My first official duty as assistant pastor was to assist the senior pastor with cleaning a toilet!
That was not a random occurrence. It was a reminder to me of the commitment I had made. Plus, it showed me that even the senior pastor needs to be willing to step up and do whatever is necessary in tending to the flock God has entrusted him with. Also, this is not a toot-my-own-horn thing. Rather, it is a lead-up to a question I have for you, the reader. Are you willing to do whatever the Holy Spirit prompts you to do, even if it seems like a messy, demeaning job? Are you willing to take the place in the Body of Christ that the Lord has set for you no matter what that position may be?
One of the biggest problems in the church today is members of the Body of Christ wanting to be the head of the body instead of being the parts of the body God assigned them to be. Jesus is the head of the body (Colossians 1:18)!
The world tells us to aspire to greatness. Some will strive for it crushing anything and everyone that gets in their way. Jesus told us that if we want to be masters, we need to be servants (Mark 10:42-45, Galatians 5:13-15, Matthew 23:11-12, John 13:12-15). That kind of thinking makes absolutely no sense to the way of the world, but it is a foundational element of being a member of the Body of Christ.
In the Old Testament, God used the death and shedding of blood of animals to demonstrate to people that the penalty for sin was death (Romans 6:23). The offered animals covered the sins of the people with their death and blood acting as a constant visual reminder of the seriousness of and penalty for our human sin.
Sin brought death, and God arranged from the beginning a sacrifice/payment of the penalty of sin. From the foundation of the world, Jesus was the planned perfect sacrifice/payment for all of human sin (1 Peter 1:18-20, Acts 2:22-24). Before Jesus humbled himself to be born as a human being (Philippians 2:5-11), live a sinless life, die on the cross and be resurrected, the Old Testament sacrifices were a type and shadow of the sacrifice the Messiah/Christ (see lesson one) was to provide once and for all to take away sin.
All along God was not pleased with the blood of bulls and goats. What did please him? Obedience! Stop here and read Jeremiah 7:21-24, Hebrews 10:1-10 and 1 Samuel 15:22-23 before continuing.
Do not fear change. That is the word I keep hearing in my spirit as I write this paragraph. God has an actionable plan for Blainesburg Bible Church that we can see—if we want to see—as a vision through the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. For us, having a vision requires acting on faith now to see the work we are doing bear much fruit later (2 Corinthians 5:7, Matthew 13:31-32, Matthew 17:19-21, Luke 7:5-6).
The action necessary to see God’s plan through requires a coordinated effort from each member of the Body of Christ at Blainesburg Bible Church present now and from members God will place in the body as we move forward. A coordinated effort requires obedience and dedication (1 Peter 1:13-16, Galatians 6:7-10, 2 Timothy 2:1-5).
Paul used military examples several times. He knew the Roman military machine was ungodly, but he also saw how dedication to training and following a hierarchy of command lead to Rome expanding its kingdom conquering the physical world Paul knew. I do not know how Paul could not have made the comparison in his mind how the same coordinated effort coming from followers of Christ could accomplish far more for establishing the Kingdom of God here (Matthew 6:10).
Hands of God here at Blainesburg Bible Church, cleanse and bandage any wounds the Spirit shows you. Eyes of God here at Blainesburg Bible Church, look to the horizon the Spirit is pointing us to ahead, and guide the body toward it. Feet of God here at Blainesburg Bible Church, take the Gospel with you with each forward step. Mouth of God here at Blainesburg Bible Church, speak the Word placed on your tongue with the force of volume coming from the lungs over the vocal chords. Coordinate, coordinate, coordinate! Do the opposite of Luke 6:46 and DO what Jesus says to do when you call him Lord, Lord!
Here is something for you to consider: If Pastor Frank said the Lord put it on his heart to paint the church building purple, what would your reaction be? Would you balk at the idea or turn to the word of God and to the Lord in prayer to confirm the vision in your spirit? Would you speak out against it among the other members of the body before seeking to know what the head of the body (Jesus) wants, or would your attitude be to understand why God would put this on Pastor Frank’s heart?
Obviously there is nothing in the Bible forbidding painting the building purple, so the next step would be understanding why. We all like to know why. I most certainly like to know the whys of things. However, I would grab my assigned bucket of paint and brush, and I would start applying purple paint to the church. Why? Because I understand it’s not up to me to nitpick over details of the vision given to the Pastor, and I either trust the undershepherd placed by God to lead and instruct me or I do not (1 Peter 5:1-11).
Please take the time to finish this series by reading Philippians 2:1-18 and by praying about your part in body ministry here at Blainesburg Bible Church.
If you have any questions about this lesson series, please ask!