Today, Pastor Miles started a four week series titled Eternal Trust.
In this, the first week, Pastor Miles talked about the business that Jesus attended to on Earth, His Father's business which has been passed down to all of us.
The definition of business is the Bible originated concept of managing people to organize and maintain collective productivity towards accomplishing particular creative goals, always generating revenue; revenue in this case being saving people.
Now Pastor Miles pointed out something that is very important about being productive in the church. Productive is being active in ministry, active in reaching out to those who need to hear the gospel.
Attending church every Sunday (or Saturday) makes one an attendee.
Attending small groups makes one an attendee of the small group.
But just attending a church or small group doesn't mean one is necessarily being productive in the church.
The Parable of the Talents
The scripture quoted for this purpose is one of the most interesting parables in the bible...
For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far county, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. Matthew 25:14
In the same way, if we call ourselves Christians, we are the servants and Jesus is the master. Jesus has temporarily been called away on business. What are we going to do while He's gone?
And to one (one of the servants) he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. Matthew 25:15
God has given us each gifts and ways to use those gifts.
Now the one servant who received five talents made five more. The one who was given two made two more. But the one who was given one talent buried his in the ground. Matthew 25:16-18
Do we bury our talents? How do we use the resources God has given us? Do we tell others the good news, or do we hide our faith?
After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. Matthew 25:19
To the first two that doubled the talents given to them they were told Well done good and faithful servant: you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord." Matthew 25:21
Yet to the one servant that did nothing he was "cast into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 25:30 Whatever this means, it's obvious that God wants us to take our responsbilities seriously.
Jesus' Plan to Make Disciples
Jesus had a plan and a strategy which has been passed down to us as members of His church.
First off Jesus had an initial staff of twelve disciples, and one of them was a traitor. This should indicate to us that if the Master had one that betrayed him we should not expect us to have perfect results either.
Jesus had a mission to make disciples and that was passed on to us to make disciples for the Lord.
Matthew 18:19 says Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
I think that is pretty clear to us what we are expected to do.
In Acts 1:8, He said to start in Jerusalem (their home town), then Judea (next door), Samaria and the outer most parts of the world. We need to start with our own home town and expand forth to the world teaching the Word of the Lord.
In other words we need to turn as many volunteers into productive ministers to the world.