“They’ve got to be out of their minds to work that hard without getting paid!”
I had to smile when I heard this comment the other day as I talked about the volunteers who are working so hard in the heat of summer to build our ministry center.
I smiled because, in a certain sense, it’s a completely accurate comment! They are out of their minds…at least, in the same way that the Apostle Paul once said, “If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God” (2 Corinthians 5:13)!
This morning I was reminded of this again as our project coordinator, Mark Pamperin, encouraged all our volunteers after the morning devotion at 7:30 am to remember. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” (Colossians 3:23).
So why would anyone want to “work for the Lord”? Well, hang around the Builders For Christ volunteers even for a little bit, spend one day volunteering on site with them, or simply ask them why they’re doing this… and you’ll hear over and over again about the joy of serving.
They’ll speak of a joy that comes from understanding the victory that our dear Lord Jesus won for us. They’ll speak of a joy that comes from wanting to share that good news with others—knowing that God’s going to use every hour of your time and effort to help that happen as part of a bigger picture in his kingdom. They’ll speak of a joy in working alongside other likeminded Christians who love and respect one another no matter your skill level, experience, or expertise. And as one of the builders put it to me just this past week, “You get far more than you give. I’m the one who’s being blessed.”
In a way this all reminds me of one of my favorite Bible passages that you’ll actually get a chance to hear Prof. Frosty Bivens preach about in its biblical context this coming Sunday if you join us at Victory of the Lamb. It’s from Nehemiah chapter 8. Here it is, something to think about today as you go about whatever tasks God has given you to do: “For the joy of the LORD is your strength!” (Nehemiah 8:10b).
Help Build Our Church – If you have a couple days this summer, there are still opportunities to discover the joy of serving while helping the Builders For Christ. Simply fill out this form on the Kingdom Workers’ website and you’ll be contacted with more info to get you started.
Nehemiah Series – If you’ve missed the last couple weeks, remember that you can always catch up with our sermon series online via our website sermon series page. Simply scroll down to watch the week(s) you missed or download a printed pdf of just the sermon.
Helping the Builders – Food Donations Needed. There are still opportunities especially now as we enter August to donate meals, snacks, and supplies. Go directly to the page via this link or contact Lori Stankiewicz.
Enjoy Some Golf and Help Our Neighboring Community – St. Paul’s Muskego and Victory of the Lamb are partnering in a Golf Outing on Saturday, August 22, starting at 1 pm. Proceeds will benefit the Muskego K9 program that is vital to help our community combat the growing heroin problem. Open to male or female, junior high to senior citizens, members and friends. Click here for more information or to register. There are still hole sponsorship opportunities available as well. Please contact Dr. Joel Nelson for more info.
Bible Study – Every Sunday morning at 8:09 we have Bible study either in theater #6 or #5 (depending on movie times) before worship. Come right in and learn with us!
Service Length – Over the last three months we’ve been tracking the length of every service including all the service elements with the goal of carefully thinking through where we can best focus our precious time together. For example since May, the average service length on non-communion Sundays has been 81 minutes from the start of the first song to the end of the announcements. Communion services have been 87 minutes. The average sermon length (which includes the reading of the sermon text) has been about 30 minutes. However, both service lengths and sermon lengths haven’t been very consistent from week to week.
My goal in mentioning this isn’t to make you all of a sudden super aware of how long you’re sitting there or to have you comparing one service to another instead of worshiping! I think it’s only fair though to let you know that my goal is to bring the average service length down to a consistent 70-75 minutes, with an average sermon length around 25 minutes. We’ll be working towards this goal especially heading into the Fall as we look ahead to moving into our ministry center where we plan to have two services on Sunday mornings. More info about that soon. I just wanted to share this service length information with you now in case you’ve been wondering what our goal is or noticed that our services have gotten a little bit longer than they used to.
I will say though that something I appreciate so much is that I’ve heard absolutely no sarcasm or complaints about either about service length or sermon length, which is pretty amazing to me. I can’t even begin to tell you how much that means to me—that we’re a church that encourages each other rather than complains or criticizes. That refreshes and excites me to be the pastor of a church where God’s people love to hear His word and want to sing His praises while building each other up because I need that too. So I praise God for that and for you!
And I just wanted you to know in light of that I respect even more your time and I want to try and be consistent in setting and meeting service length expectations. I think this is especially important also for the sake of those who might be coming to church for the first time which is really where our unique focus as a church is. We want to love people enough to meet them where they are at, which I think includes establishing consistent service expectations for the unchurched who might be attending for the first time when you invite them.
Last Sunday’s Sermon – you can find archived right here on our website.
Sharing Christ’s Victory,