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Open Our Hands to Serve

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Open Our Hands to Serve

The church will grow when we open our hands to serve.

Even if we open our doors and our hearts, if we don’t open our hands and engage our gifts in the church it cannot grow. Our vision is to see Lakeview become a unique place in our city. God is opening the door to reach out to the poor and to immigrants in meaningful ways beyond just providing a temporary fix.

The Westside International Academy is opening within a few weeks. It’ll be a top-notch academy for kids from 6 weeks to 5 years old. We will be teaching multiple languages. We will offer a top curriculum. Most of all, we will be giving them Jesus and touching families, rich and poor.

I’m told we have 10,000 apartment units within a 2-3 mile radius of our church. How many kids come home to an empty apartment? God willing, we are going to launch after school care in 2018.

Our heart to reach our community can only be accomplished if you open your hands to serve!

 

To listen to the entire message, click here. Watch this service on video here. 

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Help Us Find Creative Ways to Engage Your Unique Gifts

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Help Us Find Creative Ways to Engage Your Unique Gifts

The church doesn’t always know how to engage all the gifts among us. Churches can have “gift blindness.” If there’s a Lamborghini’s stored in the church basement, it’s my job to bust down the wall and bring all the gifts out into the daylight. (See earlier post titled, Use Your Energy to Serve the Lord.)

I heard a story about a man who approached his pastor saying he’d like to give a day a week to the church. The pastor said, “That’d be great! We really need someone to clean the toilets.” So the man said, “Fantastic, I’m happy to do it!” And for the next several years he faithful cleaned the toilets every week.

One day, the man died, suddenly. The pastor was asked to do the funeral. Only then did the pastor discover the man had for years been a CEO in a major corporation. He could have been helping the church with long term-planning, their finances, and their vision, but instead, he was cleaning toilets.

It’s in my heart, and in the hearts of our pastors at Lakeview to ENGAGE every member of our church body in gift appropriate, meaningful ministry. I recognize that it’s an “us” problem as much as it is a “you” problem.

So I’m asking you today to help us get better. Help us find creative ways to engage your unique gifts in areas that utilize your calling to its maximum potential.

This is a shift in mindset and thinking for all of us.

We have a plot of ground donated for a garden down on the corner by the Marathon gas station. Pastor Mike needs a person who loves to garden to “own it.” Is that you? Find four or five other people, get with Mike for his plans, sign up and then engage.

If you have the spiritual gift of OCD, engage your gift! Find a couple of other people and adopt the median from here to Rockville. Dream big and get a large team.

We want to open up the gateway to opportunities to utilize and engage the gifts God has given each one of you.

We want to kick the door of opportunity open and, to be honest, we’re not totally sure what that looks like. So you’ll have to help us paint the picture.

Every night at 9:30, I have a verse that pops up on my iPad: “For from day to day men came to David to help him, until there was a great army, like an army of God.”[1]

Are you one of those people? Is God calling you to help us build an army, the army of God?

 

[1] 1 Chronicles 12:22 GW

What’s Your Motivation?

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What’s Your Motivation?

Most of the time it’s our gifts and passions that move us into action. But other times it’s the season of life that energizes and drives us to help others.

In October of 2014, Suzie’s husband, Steve died. It was a very difficult season or her. As she walked through the grieving process, Suzie read a book by Max Lucado entitled, “You’ll Get Through This.”

It occurred to her that this book would help others too. So she went to our website and signed up to lead a Life Group Class, and had more than 20 people join her, so they could connect and grow together.

After the first two weeks she wrote: “I had many hurting people come. One woman lost her fiancé on Thanksgiving Day, and another man lost his wife on Christmas Day. One woman’s husband suffers from PTSD; another had just lost her mother. God is in this! I’m also inviting people outside of the church. I love Lakeview Church and am grateful for the opportunity to connect and serve. Thanks for encouraging me to step out of the boat.”

There are many different ways to express your gifts here at Lakeview:

  • Lead a Life Group.
  • Volunteer in the nursery.
  • Join the children’s ministry team.
  • Serve as a deacon or an elder.
  • Help clean the church weekly – it’s our house; family helps!
  • Join the mowing crew and snow removal team.
  • Commit to vacuuming the carpet.
  • Find a family in need and adopt them.
  • Join the worship team.
  • Be a greeter.
  • Serve as an usher.

 

Use Your Energy to Serve the Lord

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Use Your Energy to Serve the Lord

In 1981, Ken Imhoff went to see the movie Cannonball. He fell in love with one of the cars in the movie, a Lamborghini. He decided, right then, he was going to build one. So piece by piece, over the next 17 years, he put in a Corvette suspension, a Boss Mustang 351. And as resourceful as Ken was, he had a major blind spot. He built the car in his basement and had to hire a contractor to dig out the basement wall.

What good is a Lamborghini when it’s parked in the basement? (Click here to listen to this message on our podcast.)

Until you fire up the engine, engage the transmission, and actually drive the car, it will never fulfill the purpose for which it was made!

It is exactly the same way with us! Until we step out of the anonymity of the basement and engage our gifts, we will never experience the impact for which God created us.

ENGAGE = 1) to become involved in; 2) to participate; 3) to join in, and 4) to release the power.

It’s the job of the pastors to release the power of your gifts and engage them in meaningful ministry. Ephesians 4 could not be any clearer. “Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do His work and build up the church, the body of Christ.”[1]

But pastors can’t do it alone. We need your help to do a better job. Help us to identify your gifts and engage them for their maximum potential.

“In the same way, even though we are many individuals, Christ makes us one body and individuals who are connected to each other.”[2] We are not just connected by relationships; we are connected by serving, by using our God-given gifts to build each other up.

Our gifts vary in style, in interests, in ability and capability. But each one is important and valuable.

“God in his kindness gave each of us different gifts. If your gift is speaking what God has revealed, make sure what you say agrees with the Christian faith. If your gift is serving, then devote yourself to serving. If it is teaching, devote yourself to teaching. If it is encouraging others, devote yourself to giving encouragement. If it is sharing, be generous. If it is leadership, lead enthusiastically. If it is helping people in need, help them cheerfully. Love sincerely. Hate evil. Hold on to what is good. 10 Be devoted to each other like a loving family. Excel in showing respect for each other. Don’t be lazy in showing your devotion. Use your energy to serve the Lord.”[3]

Use your energy to serve the Lord. Engage your gifts. Put them into gear and do something; go somewhere with it.

 

[1] Ephesians 4: 4:11-12 NLT

[2] Romans 12:5 GWT

[3] Romans 12:6-11 GWT

Stories of Impact—In Children’s Ministry

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Stories of Impact—In Children’s Ministry

“Be careful, then, how you listen; because those who have something will be given more, but whoever has nothing will have taken away from them even the little they think they have.”

Luke 8:18 GW

—a Lakeview Family Member shares her story:

I thank God for our Church! Last Sunday’s teaching on using our gifts was wonderful! Lakeview Church is a great place to ‘perfect’ our skills in whatever gifts we have. Our church has all the resources and the people to help us discover what our gifts are and how to use them.

 I have been blessed for many years by the children of Lakeview and working in “God’s Big Back Yard.” The joy I receive in preparing for my class is overwhelming! But my gift is not just in teaching, it’s also in serving. I believe that all of us have a little bit of the serving gift in us!

 

I want to encourage everyone to spend a little time in our children’s ministries and have the pleasure of seeing God the Father, Jesus the Son, and God the Holy Spirit through the eyes of our greatest resource, our children!

~Jackie

 

Jackie has taught Sunday School for over 40 years.

Our greatest source of impact is outside the walls of the church. May God light a fire in your soul. May you find your place of impact.

 

Overflow with Hope

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Overflow with Hope

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you will abound in hope and overflow with confidence in His promises (Romans 15:13 GW).

God gives you hope so you can give hope to others. Follow Jesus’ example. Jesus’ own people, the Jews, did not accept Him. Jesus’ brothers did not accept him. James, his brother, did not see him as Messiah until after his death, burial and resurrection. Jesus poured out his life for others—even those who rejected him.

Look at the lives of the Old Testament prophets. Many were tortured and killed, but they kept reaching out. Jeremiah might not have had a single convert, but he faithfully said and did what God told him to do and say.

You and I are not on the earth to live for ourselves.

We are here to serve God and serve others. You are to be a light to the world wherever God puts you. Be a stabilizing force wherever He chooses to place you. Overflow with hope. Make yourself available for what the Holy Spirit will do through you.

 

Pour Out on Others

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Pour Out on Others

We should all be concerned about our neighbor and the good things that will build his faith. Christ did not think only of himself. Rather, as Scripture says, “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me” (Romans 15:2-3 GW).

Vince Lombardi said, “The challenge for every organization is to build a feeling of oneness, of dependence on one another because the question is usually not how well each person works, but how well they work together.”

As believers, we are on a team and have a lifetime membership of service to one another. We’ve got to love each other and have to always be thinking of the other person.

It takes effort to be on God’s team.

We’ve got to foster a deep desire to please others and help build their faith. The worst thing for a coach is a bunch of players that just want to focus on themselves.

We certainly need to take care of ourselves, but it doesn’t stop there. We need to make an effort to teach others what we have learned. Knowledge is for the benefit of others. Think about the people who came alongside you. They encouraged you, mentored you, spoke life into you. Perhaps they served as a spiritual coach.

Are you willing to be inconvenienced in order to make time for people? Are you willing to pour yourself out to others just as Jesus poured out His life for you?

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