Service by Greg Mattson

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“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.  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 is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”                                         Romans 12:4-8

To everyone reading this, I want to start out by saying thank you for being part of New Life.  It is not unusual to hear people say “I don’t need to go to church to be a Christian” or “I do my worship while sitting in a tree stand or in a boat fishing, I don’t need to go to church.”  This may be true to some extent but it goes against Scripture.  The human body can function with just one kidney or can continue to function with the loss of an extremity but there is still a void and will not function at 100%.  The church body is the same.

New Life has been blessed by the very people God has brought through the doors.  Not everyone feels gifted for service or giving; nevertheless, many are serving and giving to promote the Gospel here at New Life.  Look around on any Sunday morning and take note of all the people serving joyfully. There are those who welcome people at the doors, Resource center volunteers, musicians, sound and video people, kitchen workers, coffee ministry, those lifting us up in prayer, and of course the pastors.  Some are involved all week long like the building committee and the cleaning crew, keeping the building functioning.  I’ve surely forgotten people but, as elders and pastors, we are grateful for everyone God is bringing to New Life.

As you can see that there is no one person equipped to do all the things to maintain a healthy church body.  I am reminded that I found out very quickly that I am not gifted for teaching.  Several years ago, I agreed to teach a 5th grade Wednesday night class.  I spent the week reviewing the material I was supposed to teach and felt prepared for the class.  I think I had 4 girls in the class that night.  I started out following the curriculum but shortly found myself sidetracked by talk about what had happened at school that day.  I gently tried pulling the conversation back to the curriculum because I was bound and determined to get through the night’s lesson, as any teacher would.  After interruptions and conversations about everything other than what I was supposed to cover, it spiraled downhill.  One girl asked to be excused to go to the bathroom and then another.  Eventually I found myself sitting alone in the classroom realizing that I had lost all control of the very class I was supposed to be teaching.  It was at this time that I told Cory, I am not a teacher.

With another season of Immerse underway, I want to take the time to say thank you to all that have committed to teaching and helping in the classrooms.  We are blessed to have many teachers at New Life including those of you who teach outside the home as a profession and those of you who are teaching your children in homeschool.  Teachers are some of the most selfless, giving, caring and patient people in the world, often doing their jobs without much fanfare.  Another example of this in action is found in the Jail ministry.  For years some of our people have volunteered their free time teaching the Gospel at the area jails.  I can only imagine the discouragement they must often face but am strengthened by their strong resolve to continue their calling.

So, speaking on behalf of the elders and pastors, I want to end by saying thank you again to everyone reading this.  We are glad you are here today and hope if you are new or even if you have been coming for 10 years that you would consider using the gifting God has given you and know that we are blown away by how God has and continues to move here at New Life through you. May all our days bring Glory to His name.  We serve a Great and Awesome God!

                                                                                                 In Christ, Greg.

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