Retooling: Service Based; Not Service Driven


Five Fold Must Be Relational – Part XXX

I have shared the five fold as a point of view or passion, that which drives a person, but the bottom line is that the five fold is all about relationships, relationships between people with different passions for the unity of the body and the maturity of the saints.  The five fold is to “prepare the saints for the work of the service.”  Service is central to the five fold, but the dark side could be if a principle that is “service based” becomes “service driven” rather than relational.

Luke 10:38-42 records the “service driven” Martha actually complaining to Jesus about her sister, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself?”  He replies, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

What was the better is the basic principle of how the five fold must work: Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus listening, building a relationship.  Mary was so “busy serving” she did not take the time to listen to the voice of Jesus.  In John 11:21 little miss organizer, who likes to have her ducks in order, confronts Jesus over her brother’s, Lazarus’, death, “Lord, if you would have been here, he would not have died.”  She had even prepared for Lazarus’ recovery if Jesus had come. What she had forgotten is that God majors in “preparation”, and she could have listened to Him in the flesh if she would have taken the time.  God sent the prophets to prepare for Jesus’ coming.  He sent John the Baptist to “prepare” the way. Like Mary, I would not have sent a “hippie” who eats locust and honey but a “learned” rabbi who had studied the Word, but God knows better.

In John both girls go and meet Jesus, but their encounter is different. Martha confirms her belief of the resurrection and her confession of Jesus as the Messiah; Mary weeps, moving Jesus to Lazarus’ tomb producing his actual resurrection.

The five fold, as outlined in Ephesians 4, is all about “preparing the saints for the work of the service”, the Martha syndrome, yet anchored in the relational, the Mary syndrome, as it is to bring unity in the body and develop the saints into maturity of being Christ-like.

If the 21st Century Church is to be retooled, it has to be anchored in the relational: 1) their “personal” relationship with Jesus Christ and Father God (John 3:16); and 2) their relationship with each other, their brothers in the Lord, their neighbors, and others (I John 3:16).  Only through those relationships, the Mary syndrome, will the fruit of service, the Martha syndrome, be evident.