Improving Someone’s Life: Passion for Service Pt. 6

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Image courtesy of Sommai at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

During the months of January and February, I’m teaching a workshop at my church about finding God’s Will as you serve Him. This blog provides brief summaries of the previous classes in order to help people stay up to date if they can’t attend or have missed a session.

 

 

 

Previous Posts In the Series:

Some of the handouts are available on their respective posts. If you can’t locate the appropriate handout, feel free to request them from me here.

Sometimes Someone Else Says It Best

As I prepared for this week’s post, I ran across this post. Since we’re focusing on discovering our personal missions for service, I thought this might be of interest to someone reading this blog. There are many ways we can serve as the author of the post below explains. It’s a bit long but well worth the read especially in light of recent events.

Am I Invisible? The Pain-Relieving Response to Being Rejected or Excluded

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Why We Serve: Finding Your Passion for Service, Pt. 4

Image courtesty of Stuart Miles, freedigitalphotos.net

During the months of January and February, I’m teaching a workshop at my church about finding your service passion. After we spend a few sessions defining our service passion, we will be creating vision boards to help us focus our efforts on the right areas to support our service.  This blog will provide brief summaries of the previous classes in order to help people stay up to date if they can’t attend or have missed a session.

Previous Posts In the Series:

Last week, we looked at how and who we will serve. If you didn’t get the How or Who handouts, contact me here, and I’ll email them to you.

The Spirit’s Prompting

Why do you want to serve? We know we’re called to serve as Christians, but we need to know our own personal why. What draws us to a special area? If you’re like me, it’s easy to feel pulled to serve in more areas than I can handle. If this is you, either you say yes to everything or you hesitate in your decision-making and never choose. Neither choice is good. God wants us to serve.

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. I Peter 4:10

Part of the goal of this series is to help you find a focus, so you’ll know when to say yes and when to say no. If you’ve followed the posts, so far, we’ve been exploring how the Spirit can lead you to this answer. As we looked at the words list for How and for Who last week, we needed to be open to circling any words that spoke to us–EVEN IF WE DIDN’T KNOW WHY. That’s important.

Now, we want to look at another list to discover WHY we serve.

The Why

Our reason for serving comes from our personal values. After identifying your values, we can look at how the How, Who, and Why combine into a mission statement for our service.

 

Below is a list of typical values. Don’t think too hard about it, just choose your top three to five. There are several that are similar, so you might want to read through the entire list before making your selections.

 

Your Service Mission Statement

Now that you have your values identified, you can begin to put together your mission statement.

 

Further Definition

Another tool that can help you identify how to proceed is to evaluate the following areas of your life.  Score each area from 1-10 with 1 indicating it’s non-existent in your current situation and 10 indicating you are extremely happy in that area. Then look at the areas with the lower scores. Can you use the How, Who, and Why to build up one of your weaker areas?

  • Social
  • Intellectual
  • Emotional
  • Physical
  • Spiritual
  • Career
  • Relationship
  • Friends
  • Money
  • Security
  • Other

What Do You Do Now?

Still not sure about your focus? That’s ok. Take some time and pray about it.

Also, be on the look out for images that speak to you, whether in magazines, on the internet, or around you. Take a picture of the image or pull it from the magazine or internet and hang on to it. You don’t have to know why the image speaks to you, just that it does. This is the beginning of your Vision Board.

Have you developed a Mission Statement or narrowed down your How, Why, or Who? Please share in the Comments on this post. I can’t wait to see what everyone is discovering!

 

 

How and Who: Finding Your Passion for Service Pt. 3

 

During the months of January and February, I’m teaching a workshop at my church about finding your service passion. After we spend a few sessions defining our service passion, we will be creating vision boards to help us focus our efforts on the right areas to support our service.  This blog will provide brief summaries of the previous classes in order to help people stay up to date if they can’t attend or have missed a session.

 

Previous Posts In the Series:

In the previous posts, we’ve looked at Jeremiah 29:4-11 and I Corinthians 12:1-11.

Gifts and the Spirit

This week, we added a familiar passage for many Christians:  Romans 12:1-8. Let’s look at the last part of this passage:

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;  if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach;  if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Romans 12:6-8

If you examine these three passages, you begin to see several correlations:

  • God has a will for us.
  • His will might not match what we expect.
  • We all receive gifts of the Spirit specific to us.
  • Not everyone has the same gift.
  • We should use the gifts God gives us.

As you seek to discover your focus for service, it’s important to remember these points.

Now, let’s look at another passage about the Spirit:

“Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”” ‭‭John‬ ‭3:6-8‬

Jesus speaks these words to Nicodemus. What follows is a discussion of being born again, but I want us to look at something else in this passage:  Jesus uses the wind as a metaphor for the Spirit. We know it exists, we hear it, we feel it, we see its actions. What a great explanation of the Spirit!

Have you ever felt or heard a prompting from the Spirit? How did you know it came from the Spirit?

A thought comes to you, but it’s not a random thought. It may be unusual in its timing but not without purpose. Sometimes it’s a name of someone you haven’t thought of in some time. For me, that name might surface in my mind several times in a short period of time. Guess what? If I contact the person, they’re often going through something and needed to hear from me. Occasionally, I’m going through something and needed to talk to them. Either way, it’s not a coincidence. Stories like this abound.

My point? We have to listen for the promptings of the Spirit if we’re going to use our gifts to God’s service.

How and Who To Serve

Which leads us to the How and Who of developing your service focus. How will you serve? Who or what cause will you serve?

I gave the participants two lists–one for the How and one for the Who.

The How list contains a long list of action verbs. I encouraged them to circle the words that spoke to them or jumped out as they read through the list. Each person, through an activity, narrowed the list down to their top three.  The Who handout listed several groups or causes. Each person read through this list circling any group or cause that interested them.

Next week, we’ll do the Why list.

From these three areas, you can begin to build your service mission statement.

If you missed last week or are only following these posts online, feel free to contact me, and I’ll send you the lists and the directions to follow while making your selections.

Meanwhile, be in prayer over how God wants to use you.