Pastor Reidhead Sermon Blog

A conversation with Pastor Reidhead about Christian Service (excerpts from “God’s Plan for Your Life”)
by Pastor Stephen Woolverton

March 6, 2018

I’m sure that this portion of Pastor Reidhead’s sermon was powerful for those who were in attendance when he preached it. I know it was powerful to me when I read it. Likewise, as I look around Christendom today, I see many who either haven’t heard or don’t fully comprehend that Christian service is a part of God’s plan for their lives. It is not an option, but a divine instruction and a powerful blessing both to the Christian servant and to those being served.

Below, I have taken portions of Pastor Reidhead’s sermon and intermixed my thoughts to have a sort-of conversation with him on this topic. May you be blessed, the kingdom of God uplifted, and our Lord glorified in your reading.

Pastor Reidhead: “We must recognize that in the mid-twentieth century, service has often come to mean some participation in the organizational activity of the church. Generally, also, that service is associated with the building where the church meets, the place erroneously called “the church.” Though we could quite reasonably be somewhat unhappy about this identification of a building with that mysterious and marvelous organism called the church, that is, “the body of Christ,” we do recognize that there are places of responsibility and service in just this very setting.

Pastor Woolverton: I am among those people that you speak of who are reasonably unhappy with the description of a building as a “church.” The church, as referred to in scripture, is the assembly of people, or the gathering of people, specifically as Paul notes in 1 Thessalonians 1:1. “which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ.” The church, rightly described, is the “mysterious and marvelous organism … that is ‘the body of Christ.’” However, while that isn’t your main point here, I wanted to give an Amen to that.

Your main point here is that, in that building we call church, there are in fact positions where a Christian can be in service. There are many positions of service in the church that are very beneficial to the kingdom of God. From the choir member to the acolyte to the Sunday school teacher to the custodian. These and more are valid services rendered in the kingdom. However, every effort should be made to convince the children of God that their service to the Lord does not begin and end with participation in functions in the local congregation or organized by the local congregation.

Pastor Reidhead: “Primarily, our Christian service is to be in our everyday and ordinary environment. We should recognize that one of the best pulpits from which we can proclaim the grace of God is our home. If every family would realize that they are living where they are not by accident, but by the divine appointment of God; and if each Christian family would recognize that they are exposed to the scrutiny of the unregenerate continually so that the lost about them might see in their conduct the Gospel commended and the grace of God honored, then undoubtably our impact on the communities would be far greater than it is.”

Pastor Woolverton: Excuse the pun, but your words are hitting close to home. As my friend says sometimes after particularly powerful sermons, you have gone from preaching to meddling. Your position assumes, and I think rightly so, that our impact on our local communities is lacking. In other words, we as Christians are not doing a good job at reaching the lost in our communities, and the reason is that we as Christians don’t understand one of the basic tenants of the Christian faith: we must conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel in all times and in all places. If we cannot live out the grace of God in our homes, how do we expect to earnestly and honestly present the gospel in our communities? But if our homes are places where God’s grace is evidenced, and we live out the Gospel one with another, I think this would naturally overflow into our lives outside of the home.

Pastor Reidhead: "You should see yourself a foreign missionary placed in the office, shop, or school, factory - wherever it may be - by the deliberate design of your wonderful Lord. He put you there that He might use you as a portable antenna of His grace; through your life and your personality, the message of His love is to be broadcast to those about you. Your testimony ought to be not just words that you might speak that have a theological content; no, every word you speak, and the tone with which you speak it, is part of the total sermon of your life. The cheerfulness with which you do you work, the understanding that you bring to your task, and the willingness to go beyond that which is required to more effectively serve your employer - all are part of your testimony.”

Pastor Woolverton: What would our communities, our countries, look like if Christians everywhere understood this basic idea: we are all missionaries. Whether it is are work, or in the grocery store, or even (dare I say it) driving in rush hour. We are all missionaries presenting the Gospel to all whom God has placed around us. If the body of Christ were simply more aware that the person we are speaking to in the checkout line is a lost soul needing to know the love of God, or that the coworker having a bad day is a beloved of Christ who needs to know the peace of God, or that the person crying on the phone in the restaurant is in desperate need of the grace of God. And, like you said, it isn’t always about the words. It is the compassion behind the words, or the love behind the action that broadcasts God’s love to those He has placed around us.

Pastor Reidhead: In your home and its extensions - the school, the PTA, the cleaner, the grocers - all of the many contacts of your life in every organization and activity of which you are a part are to be considered the place of your service. In all these places, you are to manifest Christ. … In this way, we are to realize the the most seemingly mundane and unimportant and activity has tremendous consequences.

"A commentary on Developing Your Potential in Christ"
A sermon by Pastor Paris Reidhead - by Pastor Stephen Woolverton

February 27, 2018

In this sermon, Paris asks a poignant question about the scripture taken from Ephesians 2:1-2. Who is Paul talking about?

Is he talking about the Jews? Is he talking about the first generation of Christians?

Or is he talking about me?

“He can’t mean me. Well, he does mean you,” Paris said. We know Paul means me, Paul means you, because it was no mistake that scripture says “you … who were dead in trespasses and sins.” It doesn’t say, you people of Ephesus, or you Gentiles, or you Jews, or even you Barbarians. No. Scripture is the very Word of God for the people of God, so it is no mistake when we read, “you … who were dead in trespasses and sins.”

When I read this, I know he is talking about me. Just like Brother Paris, I too was dead in trespasses and sins. I was dead in sin. You were dead in sin. We were dead in sin.

Firstly, I have found that, those of us who have been made alive in Christ, can grow a sort of complacent amnesia regarding who we are absent God’s redeeming grace. When we forget who we were before God’s grace, and who we are without God’s grace we become the self-righteous Christians that the world thinks we are.

Secondly, I have also witnessed congregations that develop a group amnesia regarding who they are in the kingdom of God. They become settled in their positions as children of God, and they begin to act and believe that they are children of God because of who they intrinsically are or because of their own works. These congregations become islands separated from the truth. Likewise, they also become islands separated from God.

As a result, when the children of God, or even whole churches, fall into this grace amnesia, they loose the ability to fulfill the calling of Christ to witness, minister, teach, or seek out the lost and lonely. When we forget that Paul is talking about us when he said “you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins,” we lose what we have in common with those to whom we are called to deliver the gospel. “That’s who we were.

That’s who we were. Those are the very same people we are going to witness to and minister to, and see brought out of the bondage of Satan into the liberty of the children of God. Now do you see why it’s so important for us to understand that the way He wants to work is for us to present our bodies to Him so He can live in us? The reason that He wants to work is that through us He can bring these that are still in Satanic bondage and every lost person is—into that place where.” Paris Reidhead

- - -

What kind of people is he talking about? Oh, some might say, he’s talking about Jews that have a heritage in Israel and are first generation Christians. And say they had a lot going for them. But he can’t mean me. He can’t mean me. Well, he does mean you, because he says, “you who were dead in trespasses and sins.” (Eph. 2:1) Now, that’s better than if he put my name there. Because if he put my name there I’d never know if it was my great grandfather, my grandfather, or my father, my son or my grandson. And you wouldn’t have a chance at all, and it wouldn’t do me any good.

But when he says, “You who were dead in trespasses and sins,” then I know he’s talking about me because I “was dead in trespasses and sins.” And so are you. So he’s saying this, “Look, nothing of your past is going to interfere with My plan for your future.” Isn’t that great? Isn’t it wonderful to know that somebody loved you when He knew the worst about you? You know, if most of our friends knew about us what God and we know, we wouldn’t have many friends. The only thing is that if we knew about them what they and God know they wouldn’t have us as friends, either. Or we would all be friends because we would we ought to be know that we were woven on the same loom. Maybe the woof was a little different, but boy the warp is the same. I know you, friend. You can’t kid me. I know you because I know me. I know that we “were dead in trespasses and sins.” You who were, so He’s talking about folks just like us. “Who walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince and power of the air, that very same spirit that now works in the children of disobedience.” (Eph. 2:2) That’s who we were. That’s who we were.

Those are the very same people we are going to witness to and minister to, and see brought out of the bondage of Satan into the liberty of the children of God. Now do you see why it’s so important for us to understand that the way He wants to work is for us to present our bodies to Him so He can live in us? The reason that He wants to work is that through us He can bring these that are still in Satanic bondage and every lost person is—into that place where they’re part of this inheritance for Christ, “His inheritance in the saints.” The power is the very power that raised up Christ from the dead and our position is seated with Christ.

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