From Serve-us to Service
November 4, 2016

Rediscover the Bible for Life

“From Serve-us to Service”

By Dennis Lee03b9268a0a8603f5f4d3a7d777e2c170

How many of you remember the old full-service gas stations? It was where someone would pull in to the familiar sound, “ding ding,” and the station attendants would come out, clean your windshield, check your tire pressure, and put air into your tires. They would open the hood of your car and check your oil, transmission, and windshield wiper fluid. And on top it all off, not only would they fill your tank with gas but give you green stamps to boot.

These full-service stations are just a memory. Instead they are called convenience stores. We now go to the convenience store to get gas, but they are anything but convenient. Not only do we have to pump our own gas, but clean our own windshield, that is when there is soapy water available and a squeegee, and the on top of all that we have to pay to pump air into our tires.

And while we have accepted this overall change along with the privilege of paying more for self-serve, we still want our church experience to be full-service. We go to church to be served.

We go to hear an inspiring message, to hear inspiring music or our favorite hymns. We want our children and youth to be taught, because we no longer have time to teach them, and then after being well served we go home.

Today, people go on church shopping trips. They have a mental list of things they need the church to be. Churches today are now evaluated in terms of what they can offer to a person’s household.

One time I had a man visit the church where I pastored, and he wanted me to show him the facilities and to tell him about what we believe. He then asked, “what can you do for me?” I was somewhat shocked at this man’s forthrightness, but not with the question, because I have been asked this same question in many ways over the years.

My response was simple. “We can do nothing to meet your needs. The only thing that we can do is to introduce you to the One who can.”

Somewhere in our journey of faith, a transition has to take place. We have to move away from a “serve-us” church into a “service” church. Where the church is no longer a place that we go to be served, but to serve.

The Apostle James said, “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? … Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:14, 17)

The Lord wants His church to be a full-service station equipped and committed to serving the needs of the community. This is why our mission and vision is to make a difference in our community for Christ.

Being a full-service station is a beautiful metaphor for what is needed, and right now the Lord is looking for such churches

God’s vision for church to be a full-service station where we’re attendants working together to serve those in need of finding God’s living waters for their lives.


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