North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

One of the joys I will always cherish from my youth was the family trips we made together. We would load up the car, spend a couple of days in Atlanta, and watch the Atlanta Braves play baseball. My Dad had been a Braves fan throughout his life and could scan the Major League box scores in the daily paper and tell you Hank Aaron’s stats in less than two seconds. His fondness for Braves baseball was impressed upon me at an early age. At eleven months old I was in the stadium with him and my Mom watching pitchers Phil Niekro of the Braves and Tom Seaver of the New York Mets (both Hall of Famers). It was Hank Aaron who would score the winning run to seal the victory. Four years later we were there again to see “Hammerin Hank” hit homerun number 713 of his career. We’ve since been spectators of many more games and the tradition continues as I’ve taken my own kids to Braves games all their life.
Attending a baseball game, sitting in the stands on a hot summer night, and cheering for your favorite team is quite the experience. The stadium rocks when fan favorites approach the batter’s box. The spectators get loud with excitement at the crack of the bat. The players play the game and the fans go “insane.” Why not get excited and on fire for God when it comes to your churches ministries?
Taking the spectator approach couldn’t be any further from what God desires for us to do. The work of the church is what advances God’s mission more than anything else. Jesus has laid the foundation before us. The church has been given the power and authority to do the things he taught us. Jesus says, “The gates of hell will not destroy it” (Matt. 16:18). The church is where we fill our spirits, worship and encourage one another. To get in the game you must have a willing and submissive spirit towards the Creator. It takes people working in the church to fulfill Christ’s intended purpose for it. Don’t look at yourself as having insignificance. God takes our little and multiplies it. 2 Corinthians 9:10 says, “And God, who supplies seed for the sower and bread to eat, will also supply you with all the seed you need and will make it grow and produce a rich harvest from your generosity.”
Whatever it is you like to do or have been gifted to do; use it for God’s glory. If you can sing; sing in the choir. If you like to cook; provide refreshments for fellowships. If you’re outgoing and like to make people smile; be an usher or greeter. If you have lots of energy; spend time helping with the children’s groups. If you have a good sense of humor; lead a youth function. If you have good technical skills; work with the sound system and video. If you like to organize; prepare church meeting reports and document attendance. If you like to talk; coordinate a visitor follow-up ministry. The list goes on and on for no job is too small or unimportant. The church is the last place to watch from the sidelines. Providentially you were created with specific interests and abilities, so that you could actively use them for God’s glory. We perfect our gifts by practice and this gives satisfaction and meaning to our lives.
Achieving goals through the use of our gifts produces personal fulfillment. These are the things blessings are made of and it proves we are good stewards of what we have and who we are. It’s the old “use it or lose it” philosophy; being in the game and pulling your own weight to fulfill the churches mission. If you’re not already doing so, it may take some time to find your niche. Whatever the case, don’t settle for just being another face in the crowd. Be diligent and prove to God you want to be in the game. God will show you an area of opportunity. Don’t be content to just sit in a pew and watch church. And beware of going to church to be entertained or to be seen.
Jesus said, “As long as it is day, we must do the work of Him who sent me; night is coming when no one can work.” Let this motivate us to good works. There is coming a day when we will never again have the opportunity to worship, minister, teach, witness, or serve here on earth. The church is the vessel through which we minister to people.
Be diligent in the things that matter. If you’ve wondered what it is God would have you to do; wonder no more. Believe the words of Proverbs 3:5-6 when it says, “Trust the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. Remember the Lord in everything you do and He will show you the right way.” Fine tune your spiritual vision which is your capacity to see clearly what God wants you to do. Discover what God wants so that every obedient act you commit in the name of Christ will be like a base hit in a baseball game. Leading someone to Christ as a result of your actions is like hitting a home run. Be thankful when you do and stand up and cheer when somebody else does too.
• This weekly column is written by Matt Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University, Univ. of West Florida, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, he is Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Jay, Florida and is a Captain (CPT) in the U.S. Army Reserves Chaplain Corp. Matt can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts concerning faith, belief, and Christian living. Visit the Living With Purpose website at

Posted by on May 25 2014. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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