Friday, November 21, 2008

At Your Service - Great Article on Service

I just read a great article on service by Jimmy Davis who has the blog The Cruciform Life. The article appeared in the new issue of Worldview Church (Breakpoint). You can read it here. I wish I had more time to explain what I like about it but here is an excerpt for you.

The profile of Jesus’ life described in the gospels fits hand-in-glove with the profile of the cruciform disciple that is prescribed by the Apostles in their letters. When Paul was laying out his God-given plan for building up the church in Ephesians 4, he mentioned that pastors and church leaders were to “equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,” resulting in a unity and maturity that finds its final expression in love. The Greek word translated “ministry” here is related to the word diakonos (dee-AH-ko-nahs), a servant who waited tables at meals (e.g. Luke 10:40, 12:37, 17:8, 22:27; John 12:2). At banquets the diakonos was assigned a certain number of tables over which he or she presided as one who watches, waits, and willingly serves the people who reclined and dined there. This is very similar to how our modern day restaurants assign servers to care for the guests at a particular section of tables.

Each follower of Jesus has been assigned a “section” of “tables,” each of which is full of people who are in need of the ministry (diakonian, service) of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17-21). Paul called that section of tables our “area of influence,” the boundaries in which and the limits to which God has placed us to advance His Kingdom through gospel works and witness (2 Corinthians 10:13-18). Our section of tables is what we’ll call our Personal Mission Field (PMF), and each table represents a different circle of influence in which we live (i.e. home, work, neighborhood, school, stores, restaurants, the gym, extended family, clubs, teams, associations, church, etc.). The work of ministry to which each of us is called is “to serve, not to be served,” to live among those in our Personal Mission Fields “as one who serves.”

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