This formation article is based on the BCBP’s first two talks in the Christian Service Series. The complete series consists of seven talks: Our Mission, Being a Servant, Receiving the Power to Serve, Guidance, Spiritual Warfare, Evaluation, and, Model of a Servant. We encourage you to review the outlines for all of these seven talks in the BCBP’s Formation Program for BCBP Members. — Editor
One of the problems with most Christian laity is the ignorance and lack of real understanding of what true Christian service really amounts to. Is it going to church on Sundays and holy days of obligation? Is it dropping a few coins in the hand of the beggar on the street corner? Is it volunteering for several days a week for assisting the doctors in a local charity clinic? Is it listening to a BCBP brother or sister unburden all his/her trials over the phone?
As BCBP members we need to look closer into this area of Christian service so that we can better and more fully understand what is expected of us as BCBP members. There are seven important ways to be a Christian servant in and through the BCBP. These seven points are summarized as follows:
1. To spread the gospel values of Jesus Christ to others. (Matthew 28:20)
2. To love neighbor by giving of self. (1 John 3:16)
3. To create an atmosphere of love, compassion and justice in the areas we can influence, especially in our respective marketplaces.
4. To serve God by serving our neighbor. (Luke 10:29-37)
5. To serve the Church through BCBP involvement.
6. To share with the needy some of the bounty God has provided us. (1 John 3:17-18)
7. To live out the life of Christ by example.
The Two Kingdoms. We are buffeted from all sides with evil – the kingdom of darkness in the world specializing in creating conflicts, causing disharmony, hatred, revenge, street crimes, injustices, all kinds of sin, etc. (1 John 4:3). The other kingdom is the kingdom of light (1 John 1:5) – the love of God, removing obstacles to life in grace, bringing reconciliation, forgiveness, and harmony.
As members of the BCBP it is our mission to be a catalyst by sowing love among one another and in the area we can influence. We can do this by example, by gentle persuasion, by sharing the Word of God, and through persistent prayer (1 John 5:16). We need to be on guard against idols in their various disguises that surround us every day – power, new cars, branded clothes, social status, etc. (1 John 5:21).
Jesus is the Answer. The prevalence of the kingdom of darkness and preponderance of idols only underlines the need to change the world’s influence with the concept and values of Jesus Christ (1 John 5:16-20). In the BCBP we look forward to forming a community – and God willing – a new society under the leadership of Christ and his Church. Jesus is the answer! It is through Christ that man overcomes darkness. It is Christ’s love that overcomes the evil of the world and the evil desires within ourselves.
As lay members of the Church, the BCBP members are called upon to bring Christ to all as Jesus directed in Matthew 28:19-20. In 1 Corinthians 12:27 we are told that “we are Christ’s body, and individually parts of it.” There is, therefore, unity of mission, though there is a diversity of functions.
The Mission and Role of the BCBP Member. The BCBP and its lay members have a specific mission to make the business milieu Christ-like, to change the face of business. We are called upon to exercise our prerogatives and obligations to evangelize the business and professional milieu in our respective areas of responsibility and influence.
As Christians, we are called to live together in the formation of social unity, in community, in the BCBP community. In this community we are brought together to grow in truth, justice, faith, and charity, with a sense of responsibility and obligation to evangelize and make Jesus Christ known in the marketplace, thus helping sanctify this sector of society.
The Marks of A Servant. Being a Christian servant involves the willingness to lay down one’s life for others. Luke describes authentic servanthood as being more focused on the Lord, than on the acts of service, and exercising humility in every act of service (Luke 22:26-27). John expands this definition in his Gospel passage: John 12:24-26.
The duties of a servant include having the proper attitude (Philippians 2:5-8) and being obedient to God’s will even though it may require suffering (Hebrews 5:8). The result of obedience is that God’s will is done, and we are able to make better life decisions.
How should we serve God in the BCBP? We should view service as a calling from God; it is a commitment to serve and fulfill spiritual and moral responsibilities. Not only are we commanded to love one another as Jesus loves us (John 13:34), not only did Jesus commission us (Matthew 28:20), we need to understand service as the duty and right of every Christian.
There are many ways to serve in the Brotherhood. We can serve as a member of the ketchup brigade, help man the registration table at BCBP breakfasts and events, be a member of the Intercessory prayer group in our chapter, volunteer for outreach activities, serve in the Music Ministry or other chapter ministries, etc. There are so many ways for God to use our skills and talents, even the ones still unknown to us.
When we are asked to serve, we should be willing to say “Yes” as the Lord may be using our leaders to bring us out of our comfort zone into a new experience that will result in our spiritual growth. The BCBP member should never use his service as a way to receive commendation/approval. Other obstacles to good service are exhibiting negative emotions like anger or envy, rebelliousness toward your leaders, and lack of discipline and order in carrying out your assigned service.
Remember that when God calls you to serve through your leader in the BCBP, he is not as interested is your ability, talents or skills, as in your response-ability, your ability to respond willingly and obediently! God is always seeking ways to spur your spiritual growth so that you can influence others to grow closer to Him.