The bread that is spoiling in your house belongs to the hungry. The shoes that are mildewing under your bed belong to those who have none. The clothes stored away in your trunk belong to those who are naked.
Howard Hendricks once described the local church as a football game: Twenty-two people on the field, badly in need of a rest, and forty thousand in the stands, badly in need of exercise.
There is no retirement in God’s work.
For until men recognize that they owe everything to God, that they are nourished by His fatherly care, that He is the Author of their every good, that they should seek nothing beyond Him — they will never yield Him willing service. Nay, unless they establish their complete happiness in Him, they will never give themselves truly and sincerely to Him.
Jesus said, “I will build My church” (Matt. 16:18). If Jesus is committed to the church, should we be any less committed to it?
Many churches are like an ailing lung with only a few cells doing all the breathing. The real life of a church is in a few faithful people who keep it from being an animated corpse.
Church members too often expect service and never think of giving it.
Too many are willing to sit at God’s table, but not work in his field.
The Scriptures teach that the happiness or blessedness of believers in a future life will be greater or less in proportion to the service of Christ in this life. Those who love little, do little; and those who do little, enjoy less.
Not to use our gift is an affront to God’s wisdom, a rebuff of His love and grace, and a loss to His church. We did not determine our gift, deserve it, or earn it. But we all have a gift from the Lord, and if we do not use it, His work is weakened and His heart is grieved.
Attendance is a poor substitute for participation in ministry.
God gives gifts and distributes gifts so that He might receive glory in the universe (Eph. 4:10) through things like: His will accomplished though us, His people ministered to through us and the mere fact that His people are not selfish, but they serve and they are not useless, but they are equipped. Therefore, when we refuse to use our spiritual gifts, the body of Christ suffers and God does not receive the glory He deserves. On a cosmic level, any believer not using his or her gifts is a problem of God-sized proportions.
What’s holding you back from serving the Lord? Potentially your answer is that you feel insufficient and inadequate. That is a humble response which is good, but to leave it there and keep yourself on the shelf is disobedience. I would make the argument that your inadequacy is not an obstacle, but the essential requirement needed so that you might trust the Lord to work His power through you. As one author said, your weakness and God’s strength perform an unbeatable combination. So you feel inadequate? So did Gideon in his military weakness and Isaiah in his sin and Jeremiah in his youth and Ezekiel in his fear. Join the crowd of God’s most outstanding leaders whose weaknesses were made strong when they humbly depended on God to work through them (2 Cor. 3:4-5).
So, why do we serve in the church? One, because we are a spiritual body and each “body” part needs to perform his or her function. Two, we are commanded to serve by the Lord. Three, there will be accountability. Consequences toward those who refuse to use their gifts and rewards toward those who faithful discharge them as a good steward. Four, it is an honor and joy to be used by the Lord to build His eternal kingdom. And five, we want to see our investment in a person or persons to witness their spiritual fruit (Rom 1:13).
If you are idle in Christ’s work, you are active in the devil’s work.
The old adage that 10 percent of the people do 80 percent of the work is probably true in many congregations.
How enormous and wonderful and glorious would be the result is all Christians should begin to be active personal workers to the extent of their ability.
God has not commanded you to be admired or esteemed. He has never bidden you defend your character. He has not set you at work to contradict falsehood (about yourself), which Satan’s or God’s servants may start to peddle, or to track down every rumor that threatens your reputation. If you do these things, you will do nothing else; you will be at work for yourself and not for the Lord.