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The gift of being a people helper” I Corinthian 12:14, 28 ----Bro Johan Smulders

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1. Everyone as a part of humanity is called upon to help others in different situations and at different times. As humans we also at times need help from others. The Church and every believer are called on to take on the role of being a people helper in a society that is crying out for help. At the heart of this lies the Christian attitude of love that is expressed in compassion, kindness and helping others. Jesus taught this clearly in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-32) and in the example he set in washing his disciple’s feet (Jn.13:1-15). Jesus said; ’By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another’. (Jn.13:34/35) We will be judged by what we did as believers. (Mt.25:31-46)

2. Paul in writing to the congregations encourages every member to find their God given gift and then to use them. (1 Cor.12:14; 28, Rom. 12:4-8) The concept of a priesthood of all believers is clearly taught in the New Testament, (1 Pet.2:5; 9, Rev. 5:10) and was prophesied by Moses many years ago. (Ex.19:6)

3. Group activity: List the groups in society that are in need of help. Choose one and state how we in the Lords Church can help them.

4. One of the ways that we can assist people in need is to train up counselors/people helpers who are gifted in the area of counselling to be better equipped in this task. Here we need to begin by identifying those who have been gifted in this and then help them to develop their skills. This will not happen by accident, but must be an ongoing task of the congregation in helping people to grow and become useful members of the congregation and so also of society. We cannot ‘walk by on the other side of the road.’

5. Often we have left this task to the evangelist/preacher who is then too busy with the many tasks that he has to do to meet the need for help in the congregation and in society as a whole. Jethro identified such a problem in the time of Moses (Ex.18:13-27) and his advice can also be applied to the Church today. The example in Acts 6:1-4 also illustrates the need to delegate responsibility in order that every individual can have the time to do what they are gifted and called to do We cannot allow a membership to develop who becomes spectators in the great work that we are called to perform. Everyone has a need to be usefully engaged in the work of the Lord.

5. Group activity: Fill in the form that will help you to identify you area of giftedness. It is also good to ask someone who knows you what your area of giftedness is. Sometimes others can see you more clearly than you can.

6. Illustration: A person who comes into a room of people with a tray of tea and cake and drops it. Different people would react in different ways. What would your immediate reaction be?

7. As we help people we do so as Christian counselors and so we come to the situation from a different angle that people in the world do. Our concern is to bring them into a saved relationship with God that will last into eternity. (1 Tim.4:8) It is interesting that Jesus met people at their ‘point of need’ and then introduced them to the Kingdom.

8. In his book ‘Training Christians to Counsel’ Norman Wright describes the technique that Jesus used as a process were Jesus spent time with individuals helping them to work through their problems. This includes compassion, acceptance, recognizing the worth to others, responsibility, hope, encouragement, redirecting thinking, positive authority, confrontation and emphasis on right behaviour. (Pg.43)

 

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