Be Engaged

Derek Profile

From Derek Maxwell

General Director

Why is Christian service not a priority for many believers?

In today’s increasingly secular climate, the need for committed church members who are willing to actively devote themselves both spiritually and practically to their churches is greater than ever before. Few churches do not have members who, although faithful attenders, seldom if ever become actively engaged in the ministry of the church or in mission.

The answer may come in a variety of forms. It may be tempting to conclude that those seemingly disengaged from active church service lack a certain spiritual vision, compassion, or concern for the spiritually lost. Perhaps they are preoccupied with material things so that they do not have time to serve. They want others to do the work while they reap the rewards, and so they remain on the sidelines of active church involvement.

However, to jump to such a conclusion may be to underestimate the complex reasons which can underpin a lack of active involvement in ministry, and these must be addressed with wise counsel. When it comes to church ministry, many individuals are convinced that they lack gifts – they do not have anything to offer. Others may still be hurting from damaging past experiences and are hesitant to get involved again. They need time to heal before they can once again take up the baton and continue in their vital roles.
Others are convinced that the work of mission is a specialized work to be carried on by the pastor or those in
‘full-time’ Christian service.

The apostle Paul, writing to the Corinthians, encourages those who feel weak to attempt extraordinary things for God (1 Cor. 1:27-29). Jim Elliot, martyred as he fulfilled his missionary calling to the Huaorani people of Ecuador, said, ‘We are a bunch of nobodies trying to exalt Somebody.’ It is clear that even with all our weaknesses, God delights in using us to bring glory to His Name.

Salt of the Earth a
The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed.
Hudson Taylor, founder of the China Inland Mission, emphasizing the importance of mission

We have all been sent out to spread God’s glory through evangelism and mission in our own homes, towns, schools, jobs, across the street and around the world.

The church has been commissioned by Jesus to make disciples. The only way we can accomplish that task outside the church is by cultivating active disciples within. God expects all Christians to use their gifts and talents in ministry and, if the great talents, resources, and energy found in the church of Jesus Christ were marshalled and unleashed, Christianity could leave an indelible mark on our nation once again.

In this issue of Breakthrough, we can read about one family who live exemplary, dedicated lives in God’s service. Others serve tirelessly in camp ministry and village evangelism. There are countless ways in which each of us may participate in God’s plan to take the Gospel to all people groups. We have entered a new year with new opportunities. Will you engage in service for the King of kings? Let us strive to hear that commendation for service,

‘Well done… good and faithful servant!’