As you read I pray that the Lord will also take you through a path of Self & Service assessment.
I recently visited a fast-growing church in Minnesota to learn from their staff. It was a privilege to witness their passion for doing high quality ministry in Jesus' name. I left with some new insights and renewed passion for the Gospel. One of the phrases that I heard while I was there was, "We want our members to wear aprons, not bibs."
- Bibs are for people who only want to be fed.
- Bibs are for those who are not yet ready or willing to feed themselves.
- Bibs are for those who are more interested in being served than in serving.
- Bibs are for those who insist that the church exists for them and their needs.
- Bibs are for babes in the faith, those who haven't caught God's vision for the church, or those who are not yet of the faith.
- Aprons are for those who have a heart to serve others in Jesus' name.
- Aprons are for those who know that they are the church.
- Aprons are for those who don't mind getting their hands dirty.
- Aprons are for those who take the time daily to feed their spiritual hunger.
- Aprons are for those who are growing in faith, and hunger to help others grow.
Church growth consultant, Win Arn, interviewed thousands of Christians in America several years ago and asked them, what they though the church existed for. Eighty-eight percent said, "The church exists to serve my needs and the needs of my family." In other words, 88% of Christians in America are still wearing bibs.
On the night when He was betrayed, just hours before He was crucified, the very Son of God took off His outer garments, wrapped a towel around His waist, and washed His disciples' feet. When He was done He said, "I have just given you an example to follow." In other words, Jesus called His disciples to wear aprons, not bibs. In Matthew, Jesus is recorded as saying, "For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many." He also said, "If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give it up for me, you will find it." Jesus calls us to wear aprons, not bibs.
Which are you wearing?
Bringing It Home.... [life application]
- How would you answer the question, "Why does the church exist?" Does your answer reflect your bib or your apron?
- How can you help others in your Christian community to trade their bib for an apron?
- If you're not already serving in a ministry in your church, make a commitment to begin this month. What a wonderful New Year resolution that would be...for others.
"Lord Jesus, thank You for feeding me daily with Your word. Fill me with Your redeeming love. Open my eyes to clearly see the needs of those around me, and then open my hands to serve them. Each day, strengthen me with Your Spirit, so that I might choose to wear an apron, not a bib. This I pray in Your name. Amen."