Unification News for July 2004

Our Gift is for Giving

by Dr. Tyler Hendricks

This sermon was given at Red Hook Family Church on April 11, 2004

A great church, business or organization is a team. It is not one person doing a hundred things. That leads to burnout. It is a hundred people doing one thing eachÖ the thing they have been gifted to do.

"He gave gifts to men.í And he gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ." Eph 4:9, 11-12

The Purpose of the Church: The church is a spiritual community that supports the mission of Tribal Messiahs. Tribal Messiahs extend true parental love to all corners of society in many ways. We engage in various styles of "witnessing:" confrontational, invitational, service-oriented, personal and testimonial. The essence is to give what God has given us, our gift, to others. The goal is to develop an authentic relationship of trust with a new person in order to open them up to True Parentsí love and truth in our community.

"The role of the leader is not to corner the market on ministry but, rather, to equip Godís people to do the work of the ministry... Under the traditional template of how church is done, the pastor does the work of the ministry and he gets as many people as he can to help him... In doing church as a team, the people do the work of the ministry--and they get the pastor to help them!" These great insights are given by Rev. Wayne Cordeiro, pastor of the New Hope Community Church in Honolulu, in his book Doing Church as a Team.

The leadership facilitates: The leadership wires together the membersí gift ministries. For what purpose? To express Godís love to others. "Thatís how churches grow!"

Each person preaches the gospel through their gift. No one is unimportant; each is key to fulfilling Godís plan. Each piece is necessary in the puzzle. Each family develops a strategy that fits their resources, vision and abilities. This is their "gate ministry" or "gift ministry." We express Godís love to others through our passion, our God-inspired hobby. It is a family-based strategy. The church supports membersí ministries, and strategizes with each to link it with the core church community -- i.e., to bring spiritual children.

Ours is a Multi-track Ministry. One track is from national or world HQ in line with True Parentsí leading agenda. The second is our local gift ministries: community-based and geared to serve as gates for new people. These are mutually supportive and of equal value. New people connect to either or both. National agendas do not lead to increased membership, but local work leads to Tribal Messiah success. This is our Community and neighborhood outreach ("Tong ban kyok pah"), with the underlying effort to bring new members. It includes implementing the global trend locally, such as creating dialog and fellowship among Christians, Jews and Muslims locally.

This approach should maximize all membersí gifts. With this expanded understanding of ministry, we maximize our churchís impact and allow more members to give from their gifts for True Parents.

As Rev. Cordeiro puts it, "The Fastest Way to the Throne is through the servantís entrance." He quotes Mother Teresa, who said, "What we do is something small, but we do it with big hearts. At death, we will not be judged by the amount of work we did, but by the amount of love we put into itÖ We do not strive for spectacular actions. What counts is the gift of yourself, the degree of love you put into each of your deeds.ÖDo you want to be great? Pick up a broom and sweep the floor."

"When you serve, serve with your heart. Whether you teach, sing, pass out bulletins, play an instrument, set up chairs or clean tables, always remember: Itís not the size of the task but the size of the heart you put into the task that makes what you do something beautiful for God!"

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