“…to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the Body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” ~Ephesians 4:12-14
Being changed by God into the image of Jesus with ever-increasing glory is a result of increasingly doing for others. Sacrificing and serving others. Philippians 2 says we should pursue the mind of Christ or the attitude of Christ, and ties it directly to considering the needs of others more important than our own. This is Jesus! He said it: “I did not come to be served, but to serve and to give my life.” That’s the mission. And when you engage, you’ll be changed.
Actually doing ministry, having a mission – not just talking about it, studying it, or agreeing it’s good – changes you. The fastest way to get out of your spiritual rut is to dive head-first into our Lord’s mission.
New experiences challenge our beliefs and assumptions. Ministry, when you’re in over your head, forces you to face your fears and it surprises you with resources and strength from God you didn’t know you had. Hearing the stories first-hand, seeing the places, and meeting the people makes the needs and the opportunities more real. The Scriptures become more alive when you connect them to real ministry. Being on mission pushes us out of our comfort zones and into the places where God is really changing the world. And it’ll change you.
To empty yourself for the mission of Christ like that feels good. You know it feels good to serve others because you’ve done it. And the reason it feels so good is because it’s our God-created and God-ordained purpose. He made us to serve others. And when we do that, we are becoming like Christ. That’s why it’s so powerful. When we serve others, we live better, we worship better, we pray better, we love better – everything’s better. It changes you.
“As each part does its work, we will in all things grow up into Christ.” ~Ephesians 4:16