We began our new series, 14:23, this past weekend talking about people at parties. Specifically, a party that happens in Luke 14.
Jesus replied with this story: “A man prepared a great feast and sent out many invitations. When the banquet was ready, he sent his servant to tell the guests, ‘Come, the banquet is ready.’ But they all began making excuses. One said, ‘I have just bought a field and must inspect it. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I have just bought five pairs of oxen, and I want to try them out. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I now have a wife, so I can’t come.’ “The servant returned and told his master what they had said. His master was furious and said, ‘Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ After the servant had done this, he reported, ‘There is still room for more.’ So his master said, ‘Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full.
We can break down the people in this story into three different categories:
Party goers: the ones who just show up.
Party poopers: the ones who make excuses.
Servants: the ones who work for the benefit of the party.
God’s parties work the same way! Whether it’s the weekend service, Awaken, camp…whatever. Every event we have as a church can be looked upon as a party that all of us are playing a part of. So our question for you now is, what part are you playing at the party?
Some of y’all probably know FOR SURE exactly what you are. But in the spirit of fun, here’s a quiz for you to think about it!
When you’re at a party, are you…?
A. Just going
B. Making excuses to leave
You’re idea of a party is…
A. Having fun, talking and hanging out
B. Staying at home and reading
C. Greeting and assisting people
When asked to a party you…?
A. Want to go
B. Try to get out of it
C. Ask how you can help
During the party you are…?
A. Mingling, enjoying the atmosphere, and lazing around
B. Avoiding any human contact
C. Preparing food and entertaining guests
After the party you…?
A. Say goodbye to people with smiles, rainbows, and happiness
B. You leave as fast as possible
C. Help clean up
If you picked mostly a’s, you are a party goer. You just kinda hang out, enjoy what’s happening around you without much effort put forth on your part to benefit the party.
If you picked mostly b’s, you are a party pooper. You may make a lot of excuses as to why you can’t do [insert activity here]. I’m sorry…we’re all party poopers at one point of time.
If you picked mostly c’s, you are a servant. You come to help the party and to work towards benefiting the party and those going.
Now, don’t worry if you just found out you actually are kind of a party pooper! None of these positions determine who you are and will be for the rest of your life. We all go through different phases of being goers, poopers and servants. But God has called us to be servants. A party needs all type of people, but He wants HIS people to step out and serve the party for all of the goers who may not know Him. His ultimate goal for us is to be a servant.
So how can you step up? Well if you’re a…
…goer, think about ways you can serve next time. It doesn’t have to be anything big. But instead of just benefiting and taking from the party, how can you help it be better? This could be throwing away a piece of trash, talking to someone you’ve never met; all of these small things still matter and you as a goer are in a perfect position to do all of these small things! In turn, you start serving the servants, which well, kind of makes you a servant in the end, also.
…pooper, stop making excuses! Simple as that! Whatever is holding you back from allowing yourself to do that, stop listening to it. Whether that’s pride (I’m too good to do that, I’m too good for that party, I can do it on my own), insecurity (I don’t want to do that because I’m scared everyone will judge me), laziness (I don’t want to do that! It’s not my job!), WHATEVER. You could end up falling into being a slave to that excuse! And nobody wants that for you, from God to our leaders on the weekend. You are called to live in the freedom of Christ and if you’re making yourself a slave to your excuses, you’re not living up to that potential! I understand it’s not easy. Start small. Take baby steps. Breaking down your excuses when they’ve been a part of you for so long is difficult and needs to be done a little bit at a time. You could start by making yourself say yes to one thing someone asks you to do this weekend, from giving someone a ride to church to just picking up some trash. Start small and then build as you feel your excuses break down!
…servant, step up your game. Think outside the box! How can you serve more? And I know, that’s crazy, you probably already do so much. But really! How could you do what you do more efficiently? That’s serving more, because you’re freeing time up for yourself! Who could you teach to serve the way you do? Also serving, because you’re multiplying yourself for the benefit of God’s kingdom! How can you innovate what you do, how you do it, etcetera? Changing things up helps keep us relevant. Basically…just start getting creative with how you serve!
Anyways, thank y’all for being a part of our party at BAFstudents! We love and appreciate all of you so much, party poopers and servants alike. And in advance, thank you for stepping up your game for our party and all of the things you may inevitably do for us! Find your role and figure out how to change and expand it!