There is an epidemic happening in our country right now. Every denomination in the United States is short of pastors, meaning we have more churches than men to lead them. One reason is that we have stopped calling men to the ministry.
I am not suggesting that every man should pursue an ordination certificate. We certainly do not want to churn out unqualified pastors simply to fill these holes. Pastors need to meet the qualifications, and they need to be called. The problem I want to highlight is that we, in the church, have stopped making ministry attractive. Our world makes coaching attractive. It makes industry and building things attractive. It makes anything that makes a lot of money attractive. Yes, God calls men to work hard, be responsible, and provide for their families. But we are also all called to follow God and serve Him. So, what does this mean missionally, not just for pastors but for every man?
A man MISSIONALLY in Christ is expected and equipped to strengthen the church and make the gospel known.
As we discussed when we learned about the mission of our female counterparts, believing men and women alike are all called to make the gospel known. This is why we are here. This is why God does not graciously redeem us and take us home instantly upon salvation. We are here so that others may be saved. We are here so our Redeemer can leverage our lives to bring more people to Himself.
We are also here to strengthen the church and lead the way in serving. We are to be “on mission” in the church. That means we need men to say to the next generation of men that it is a good thing to lead a small group. We need men sitting down in those little red chairs and teaching second graders the Word of God. We need men singing in the choir and getting on planes for mission trips. We need to raise young men willing to be godly accountants if God asks that of them. We need young men who will be godly realtors, teachers, and coaches if that is what God wants. And we need young men willing to answer God’s call to be pastors and leaders in the church.
Unfortunately, when it comes to serving the church, we have raised a generation of young people who view the church as a place to entertain them and keep them happy. This may be one reason so many kids raised in the church walk away from it during their college years. Yes, church exists to encourage and minister to us, but our children need to know it also exists to be a place we minister from. They need to see us serving, and they need to find areas where they can serve.
Serving is also a clear way for us to follow the example of Jesus. Hours before His crucifixion—after washing the disciples’ feet in an astounding display of humility and servanthood—Jesus said: “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” – John 13:12b–17
Jesus cannot make it any clearer: we are called to serve others. You and I are not called to a kingdom of self-improvement and self-wealth. You and I are called to give our lives away to serve others. What is the most fascinating thing about this? The happiest people I have met in my life are not those with the greatest measure of worldly success. The happiest people I know are those who understand that success and happiness come from fulfilling God’s will for their lives. With this understanding, they spend their lives in service to others. This is what we, as followers of Christ, are called to do. This is what we, as men, are called to do.
Think about your church. If you weren’t there next month, they might miss you relationally, but would they miss you missionally? Are you ushering, greeting, or serving on the security or prayer teams? Are you signing up for mission trips, volunteering in the children’s ministry or with the youth, leading a small group, or even simply being a help to your small group leader? As men, we do what we want to do. What’s important to us makes our calendar. So let me ask you …
Is serving and strengthening the church on your calendar? If not, ask the Lord how He would have you make it a consistent part of your life.