Saturday, June 5, 2010

Plodding Visionaries

For those of who weren't able to make it to NEXT this year, you missed an awesome time and you should definitely download ALL the messages from the website ( when they finally put them up.

In the mean time, there was one message that I think is particularly applicable to us as college students. During the Sunday night session, Kevin DeYoung did a message on the importance of the church based on what we find in Scripture. In the Bible, the church is called a building with Christ as the cornerstone, a body with Christ as the head, and the bride of Christ. All of these images show us that the church is important to God and therefore it should be important to us. Since Christ loved the church so much that he laid down His life for the church, we also should have a passion for the church.

One of Kevin's main takeaway points was that the church needed fewer revolutionaries and more plodding visionaries. Plodding visionaries are people who "do not despise the days of small things", but faithfully and humbly commit themselves to serve and build the church. I think that as college students, we can often have the wrong idea about the purpose of the church. We can view it as a spiritual vending machine where we go to get something we want, whether it be sound teaching, passionate worship, or good coffee. We can also hop around from church to church, comparing them to see which one will give us what we want.

While wanting to receive good things from the church is not a sin, this type of mindset of being floaters and receivers is a wrong and even unbiblical mindset. Jesus told His disciples when they were preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, "You received without paying; give without pay"(Matthew 10:8). Yes, the church has wonderful things to offer but we are not called to stay on the receiving end, we are called to be a part of the church. We are called to serve.

Nowhere in the Bible does it say that young people can't serve in the church. In fact, we see the exact opposite. Stephen was called to be a pastor, even though he was young. Paul commanded him not to be looked down upon for his youth, but rather to set an example for the believers through his life (1 Timothy 4:12). Our age should not hinder us from serving faithfully in the church. And the ways we serve don't need to be huge. At the end of his message, Kevin told everyone to go sign up for children's ministry in their church. There are a lot of small, even unseen jobs in the church that need humble and willing servants to take the initiative and step up to the role.

So if you are floating around trying to find what church gives you the best stuff, stop. Commit yourself to a Christ-centered, Bible-preaching church, whether it be Sovereign Grace, another church in Indiana, your church back home, or a church wherever God calls you. Just commit yourself to a church, get involved, and begin giving instead of only receiving. Talk to your pastor about where service is needed in the church and ask him, or other godly people you are around, what they think your spiritual gifts are and how you can use them in the church.

Also, remember why we serve. When we serve, we are playing a part in building up God's kingdom in preparation for His return when He comes for His Bride, made spotless by His blood. We serve and build the church not for our glory, but for His glory and His glory alone.

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