by Pastor Tim Burt
Pastor finished his sermon with these words. “And so, remember these words from 1 Peter 4:10 (NIV). “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” Yield to God and them, and let God reveal His gifts through you!”
The sermon concluded, leaving Perry deeply affected by its message. Though Pastor had previously emphasized the significance of serving in the local church and discovering one’s God-given giftings, this time, Perry felt a sense of disobedience to God weighing on his heart. Previous teachings had inspired him, yet he had never acted upon them. Now, Perry longed to shake off this feeling of disobedience and find his place in the church, but he couldn’t envision where he belonged.
Perry held a deep admiration for Pastor Mike, who led and taught the men at the monthly men’s breakfast. As Perry made his way from the sanctuary to the lobby, he spotted Pastor Mike and mustered the courage to approach him.
“Pastor Mike, may I ask you a question?” Perry inquired earnestly.
“Absolutely, Perry,” Pastor Mike responded warmly.
Perry began sharing his feelings of inadequacy and his belief that he possessed no discernible gifts that could be utilized in the church. However, he expressed his weariness of disobeying God and his desire to serve.
Pastor Mike listened attentively to Perry’s heartfelt confession and smiled. “Perry, I have the perfect opportunity for you. Would you consider discussing it with your wife and potentially joining our greeter team? They extend warm greetings and welcome to everyone who enters our doors. You’ve encountered them many times. I believe both of you would excel in that role, and it would be a tremendous blessing from God.”
Thanking Pastor Mike, Perry agreed to consult his wife Bette about the opportunity. On their way home from church, he mentioned the conversation to her. The following week, Perry and his wife stood at the front door of the church, greeting congregants. To their pleasant surprise, they found immense joy in this act of service.
Three months later, after witnessing Perry and his Bette’s dedication, Pastor Mike approached them again. He expressed how other leaders had spoken highly of them and asked if they would be willing to take on the role of team leaders for their greeting team. Though initially hesitant and feeling inadequate, they prayed about it and accepted the responsibility.
Fast forward three years and tremendous church growth, the church now boasted 25 greeting teams. The couple who had initiated this ministry was preparing to move, necessitating the appointment of new leaders. Aware of Perry and his wife’s reputation for their exceptional leadership, Pastor Mike approached them after a Sunday service to discuss an important matter.
“Perry and Bette, it seems like everyone in this church knows and respects both of you,” Pastor Mike began. “People look up to you, and your leadership is greatly appreciated. Today, I would like to ask if you would consider taking over the entire greeting team ministry.”
Perry and Bette were not taken aback by the request; they had a sense that this day would come. Committed to being faithful to God, regardless of their feelings of inadequacy, they responded with an immediate and resolute “yes.” Pastor Mike felt a deep sense of gratitude and recalled when Perry had initially doubted if there was a place for him to serve in the church. He marveled at the wonderful work God had accomplished in their lives.
In his professional life, Perry worked as a full-time sheet rocker in the construction industry. One day, while at the union hall, the local union president approached him with an intriguing proposition. The union’s leadership had noticed Perry’s distinct qualities—his remarkable communication skills and ability to connect with people. They expressed their admiration for his unique strengths, which were rare in their industry, and offered him a job running the local union. This role would provide increased vacation time and income. Perry had just been thinking about the toll physical labor had taken on his body and so this was a timely answer to Perry’s unspoken prayer. Initially, a wave of inadequacy swept over him, but an inner gentle voice from God reassured him, affirming that he had been prepared for this opportunity. Perry accepted the offer without hesitation and commenced his new job the following Monday.
Throughout the weekend, Perry’s thoughts lingered on the qualities the union had recognized in him. He realized that each attribute they valued had been drawn out of him and nurtured and developed through his service as a greeter in the church. Eagerly, he shared the news with Bette, and together, they knelt in gratitude, offering prayers of thanksgiving for the leadership roles God had bestowed upon them. They reminisced about Pastor’s teachings, acknowledging that as they learned to serve God, He had graciously revealed and employed their unique gifts to bless the church, which in turn blessed them abundantly. As they recounted their story to Pastor Mike, the trio embraced tightly, breaking into a heartfelt prayer of thanksgiving. Their prayer began, “Dear God, You are faithful and true, and Your guidance has continuously led us to places of blessing! Even though Jesus is more than enough, You continue to pour out Your blessings upon us. Your love for us knows no bounds and we feel overwhelmed with thanksgiving for you today…”
Luke 6:38 (NKJV) “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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