February 1, 2021

Where is Your COMPASS Leading You?

At Gateway Church, one of our core values is serving one another, but the question often arises, "How and where can I serve?" When I first started pastoral ministry 29 years ago, one of my primary jobs was helping people discover and use their gifts in the church. But what do Christians need to consider as they seek to serve the body of Christ? I used the acronym COMPASS to communicate seven things each follower of Christ has available to them. So what does COMPASS stand for?

The first thing to consider is our Call. If you are a Christian, you have received a two-fold call from God: first to become a part of His family and, secondly, to serve others in His family. Many passages in the Bible speak about our two-fold call. In Ephesians 4:1, Paul writes, "Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. (NLT)" Paul also states in Galatians 5:13-14, “For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. (NLT)’” God gives this call, which comes through the redemptive work of Christ, to mobilize his church for his kingdom's work. So, the first question we have to ask is, "How seriously do I take the Call that God has given me?"

A second thing we need to consider is our Obsession/Passion. I once asked a person seeking advice on serving in the church, "If you could do anything in the church, what would it be?" That person had never been asked, nor had they considered that question before. But the question generated a lot of excitement as they pondered the possibilities. They had assumed that serving in the church simply meant to “grin and bear it” and doing whatever was needed. Sometimes that is true, but over the long term, if we serve only out of duty or obligation and do not consider what we are passionate about, we risk ministry burnout or growing bitter about serving. So, what are you passionate about doing in God's church?

We must also consider Christian Maturity. Whatever the level of maturity in your faith, you are called to serve the body of Christ. If you have walked with Christ for many years, maybe God is calling you to serve by discipling others in their faith walk. This could be done one-on-one or by serving as a teacher. A new member in my former church who had been a Christian for a long time recognized that he had a passion for seeing people grow in their faith, but he had never had an avenue to put that passion into practice. He went on to serve the church by discipling men who were new in their faith, walking alongside them to encourage their spiritual growth.

A fourth thing to consider as we serve in the church is our Personality. Each of us is a unique blend of strengths and weaknesses. Some folks are task-driven and enjoy the challenge of getting things done. Some love large groups and can't wait to talk with everyone they meet. Others like to work behind the scenes and prefer relating to people one on one. And then some are meticulous and detail-oriented, wanting to make sure that whatever they do gets done to the best of their abilities. We hamper the work of the church if we do not recognize and value what each personality has to offer. As the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 12:15, "If the foot should say, 'Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body." The church needs every personality type. If you are not sure of your personality strength, take a free profile to find out here.

Our natural Abilities must also be considered when choosing how to serve the body of Christ. Things like cooking, carpentry, graphic design, photography, or playing an instrument are a small part of the list of abilities that people can use to meet the church's needs. If you like to cook, there are many opportunities to bless others with a meal, whether for families facing an illness or with a new baby or making food for special events at church, such as the Soup Drive Thru. Do you have "handyman skills?" There are opportunities for you to serve individually or on a team to fix a leaky sink for an older member of the church, helping a family facing a serious illness by cleaning gutters or shoveling snow, or build a house for a family in our community, just to name a few. The opportunities are limitless.

Not only has God given us a Call, but he has also given us Spiritual Gifts to meet that call. Unlike natural abilities, spiritual Gifts are given to us by the Holy Spirit to be used to edify the body of Christ, and every believer has been given at least one. So, another question we need to ask ourselves as followers of Christ is, "What is my spiritual gift, and how can I use it for the benefit and edification of Christ's body at Gateway? The Apostle Paul lists several different gifts in the Bible. Some of these include teaching, administration, leading, service, evangelism, and giving, just to name a few. If you don't know your spiritual gift, consider taking our free gifts assessment to discover your gift. You can find it here.

Finally, we all have busy lives, yet that should not stop us from obeying God's call to serve the church by pursuing our passion and utilizing our gifts and abilities for his glory. But we only have so much time to give, right? That's why the last thing that we need to consider is our Schedule/Season of Life. There are numerous opportunities to serve at Gateway Church, each with different time commitments. Whether you have a lot of time to give or not, we can help you find just the right serving opportunity.

However, you choose to serve, remember to check your COMPASS and go where it's leading you. God has already given you everything you need to serve, and Gateway Church needs what you have to offer. If you have any questions or need any assistance discovering where you can serve, we would be more than happy to help you. Just take a look at our Serve page, and let the journey begin. The Body of Christ at Gateway needs you!