Before going off to seminary in Fort Worth, I lived in Dallas and attended FBC Dallas. While I was there, they ran a campaign entitled “Get in the Game.” The purpose of this campaign was to call people off the sidelines and into the game. They ran the campaign because, believe it or not, there was a lack of people who were serving, even though they have thousands of members.
The problem they had isn’t uncommon or unique to them. Many churches face similar issues. I am not sure who did the research, but the consistent statistic I see over and over again is that 20% of the people do 80% of the work in churches. That means only 20% of the people are employing their God-given gifts to further the kingdom of God. That is a problem because Jesus expects 100% of the people who are following Him to be employing their God-given gifts to further the kingdom.
Jesus expects everyone to be on the field, He expects everyone to be in the game. In His kingdom, no one sits the bench. Everyone plays.
What Can You Do to Get in the Game?
Let me give you three fundamental things you can do right now to get in the game.
(1) A relationship with God is needed before you will use your gifts for the kingdom
If you don’t have a relationship with God, you aren’t going to exercise your gifts to further His kingdom. It’s as simple as that, so if you want to get in the game, you must first have a relationship with God.
The only way to have a relationship with God is through Jesus. You must believe that Jesus is your Savior and you must profess Him as your Lord.
That’s the first thing that must be true in your life if you are going to get in the game. You must have a relationship with Jesus and the Spirit must be working in your life.
(2) Trust God enough to use your gifts to further the kingdom
Working for the kingdom involves risk and cost — emotionally, physically, and monetarily. These costs might be what’s keeping you out of the game, but they shouldn’t. God is the all-sovereign, all-powerful God of the universe. He controls everything, which means that He can and will provide us with what we need to serve Him. We just have to trust God enough, believing He will do that.
(3) Care about and love others enough to use your gifts
When we don’t use our gifts to serve others in the church, essentially what we are saying is that we don’t care about and love others enough to do so. Instead, we show we care more about ourselves, our comfort, and our life than we care about others.
But here is the thing, Christianity isn’t a religion that is focused on self. It is others-oriented. Jesus is the prime example. We are Christians today. We experience salvation and a relationship with God today because Jesus was selfless. He cared about and loved others more than Himself. And that’s what drove Him to serve us on the cross.
If we want to get in the game, we need to first have a relationship with God, then we need to trust God, and lastly, we need to care about and love others more than ourselves. If we lack the motivation to do those things, we need to look to Jesus meditating on the care and love He extended to us.