This past Sunday I preached a sermon from Philippians 2:1-11 titled “Look Out for Each Other.” In this passage of Scripture, Paul writes about the importance of followers of Jesus looking out not only for their own interests, but also for the interests of others. The obstacles to embracing this way of life and faith are obvious. In our sinful state, we are naturally self-centered and more concerned with our own interests rather than the interests of others. Though much has changed since the time Paul wrote Philippians, very little has changed in terms of the struggle humans face in looking past our own wants and desires to consider what we can do for others.
As I continue to evaluate the ministries of Mountain Brook Baptist Church in my new role as your Senior Minister, I am convinced that our willingness to look out for the needs of others in our congregation and in our world will be of paramount importance if we are going to faithfully pursue our calling to make disciples of Jesus Christ. For example, if we are going to effectively welcome the new people God is leading our way and help them make meaningful connections to others in our church, we will need a team of people present on Sunday mornings with a desire to connect with guests. If we are going to make sure that new members are connecting with a Sunday School class and a Growth Group, we will need existing members to serve as mentors. If we are going to be a church that is serious about raising up the next generation to know and live for the Lord, we will need many more people to serve in various roles with our Children and Student Ministries. If we are going to send out volunteers to partner with our various mission partners in the greater Birmingham area, we will need more people to join God in the work he is doing to bring the kingdom of heaven more fully in this fallen world. Each of these ministry opportunities will require us to look out for the interests of others ahead of our own.
You will hear more about opportunities to serve others in the name of Jesus in coming days. In the meantime, I invite you to pray for the Holy Spirit to increasingly conform each of us into the image of Jesus Christ, the one who put our needs ahead of his own when he humbled himself by taking on flesh and becoming obedient to the point of death on the cross. I also encourage you to pray for the Lord to begin showing you people in the church whom you may serve, so that they might experience more of the abundant life Jesus came for them to know.