What Does Discipleship Look Like (Part 5)?

One of the things I love the most about Royston First United Methodist Church is the commitment to reach out to our community and serve others. Last Saturday, we had 28 volunteers distribute food to almost 400 people. This past week, volunteers packed 29 backpacks for our Friday’s child mission at Royston Elementary School. That same day, Janet Brown and I spent the morning at Emmanuel College visiting with 85 students from Emmanuel College, telling them about Royston First UMC, and offering them a place in our community of faith. In a couple of weeks, a group from our church will help with the CSP’s (Connections for Special Parents) Annual Family Fun Day. I love seeing the church extend beyond the walls and it is awesome to be part of a church that serves others.

For the last few weeks, we have been talking about what discipleship looks like as we strive to become more faithful and obedient disciples in our community of faith. We have learned thatdisciples offer themselves to God in a spiritual act of worship, disciples are intentional about sharing their faith and making disciples (who make disciples), disciples develop relationships of mutual growth and accountability with other disciples, and disciples have a personal relationship with Jesus that is rooted in the spiritual disciplines of prayer, Scripture reading, worship, and Holy Communion. In this final message of this e-series, we discuss the fifth key to discipleship: disciples serve others with acts of love and compassion to build the kingdom of God.

A few years ago, there was a song by Matthew West called “Do Something.” The song begins with a description of people in need of help and a man asks God, “Why don’t you do something?” God’s reply to the man is one that speaks to all of us, “I did…I created you!” Each of us are given the gifts and graces to do something amazing in God’s kingdom, but it means we must do something. Our actions toward others reflect our attitudes about God. You cannot be a disciple of Jesus if you are not serving others. Jesus spent a great amount of time teaching about loving our neighbor, being a servant to all, and putting others needs before our own.

In his letter to the early church, Peter also speaks about serving others: Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms,” (1 Peter 4:8-10). Serving others is an outward expression of our love for God – we become agents of God’s grace in a broken world. There are a lot of people in our workplaces, our schools, our neighborhoods, our communities, and our lives who are hurting and in need. Every week, we gather together to worship and pray to a God who seeks the lost, heals the broken, restores order to the chaos. We believe in transformation. Through our acts of service, we carry those expressions of God’s love and grace beyond the walls of the church and into the world.

This week, I want to challenge you to think about where you are serving others. Maybe it is within one of our ministry areas in the church. Or through one of our mission initiative in the community. Perhaps you are looking for an opportunity to do something. We are always looking for new ways to extend God’s kingdom; if you would like to find a place where you can start serving, send me an e-mail and let’s talk.

I hope this e-series has been helpful for you in your discipleship journey. One of my core beliefs is that all of us are on this journey together – we just might be a different points along the way. But the wonderful thing about a faith journey is knowing that you are never alone – God is with us and you are surrounded by a community of faith. I’m glad to be part of your community.

In service together,
Matt

P.S. We will begin a new message series on September 9 called Reel Faith: Experiencing God through Movies. I will be telling you more next week about the series, but I am excited about this series and look forward to sharing how I have experienced God through movies. I hope you will plan to join us for worship and invite someone to worship with you. It’s going to be a good series!