The universal mission of all believers, and the primary purpose of of every Christian church, is to “make disciples”. While it is not within the scope of this proposal to define the term “disciple”, nor is it within the scope of this document to identify a comprehensive strategy to effectively “make” them, it is relevant to this proposal to explain the role of service within the context of a more comprehensive discipleship model.
Just as the original disciples Jesus first called to follow him were a richly diverse group in the context of their backgrounds, experiences, disposition and motivations; we, as the body of Christ, both celebrate, and are challenged at times by, the rich diversity of the disciples that comprise our community. While a casual observer may, at first, be surprised by the apparent differences in our appearance and personality types; a more attentive observer would rapidly be able to identify four attributes that all disciples share in common.
All disciples share the same walk, though in varying degrees of execution. When God designed each of the masterpieces that we are, He did not choose to make monolithic statues out of the same stone, or two dimensional works on canvas, or symphonies in the ether. Instead he made action figures of divine detail and variety with layers upon layers upon layers of detail and motivations and capabilities. But once again, He gave all of us four distinguishing actions which manifest themselves as the very apex in the range of action He designed, and which manifest themselves only after we receive His Son and are fueled by His grace.
This is our WALK, the unmistakable actions that reveal our identity as a disciple to the world, the very attributes that we do (not just seek to do…but do):
Worship God, and only God, because He is Sovereign, He is Holy and He is Just.
Advance God’s kingdom and His purpose for the body of Christ.
Love God with all of our heart and soul and mind and strength because of His incredible grace.
Know God in ever increasing amounts through His Word and through His revelation in prayer.
We worship God with more than our voices but with the very life we live. We advance God’s kingdom not just by sharing the gospel, but by sharing our transformed lives as testimony. We know God more fully not just by the devoted study of His Word, but by the awesome works of our living and active God which we witness daily.
And we love God, not just with words and feelings of adoration, but with concrete and dedicated service to Him.
And though there are many motivations to serve in the body of Christ, the disciple knows that the only God-honoring reason to serve Him in any capacity is because you love Him with so great a love that you are irresistibly compelled to demonstrate that love through service.
So that, effectively, is the definition of service…our love for God in action.
This proposal is predicated on the assumption that the level of servant participation in local Christian service is not an indicator Spiritual maturity or desire to put our love for God into action, but instead directly related to successful communication of opportunities and an accompanying evaluation of individual gifting for accurate alignment with those opportunities.
Because, just as enthusiastic service to the Body is our love for God in action, the joy and fulfillment we receive from that action is God’s great love for us in action right back.