Grace Baptist Church Decatur, IL

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Serving / Talent / Assimilation Survey

Saved to Serve

Matthew 25:14-30



This is a parable found in the context of Jesus’ teaching on the end of the world.  So far we’ve been challenged to be watching because Jesus is we’re told to be working.  Not just looking for Him, but laboring for Him in the meanwhile because the time is short, there is much to do, and once eternity begins we will wish we had done more for Him!


If you are a serious Christian, then Jesus is your boss, and you should work for Him.  Don’t be the type that punches a card before and after each should be here other times during the week, and out and about serving Him full time.  We did a census and we have plenty of Christians who consider themselves to have been saved to sit...and they do it faithfully...but sitting and soaking leads to souring...we are saved to serve!  He’s our King, and we are servants in His courts.  He’s the Lord, and it’s a privilege just to be a peasant.


Psalms 84:10
For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.


There’s 2 periods of time in this parable:

The present day of responsibility

The future day of accountability


Right now we need to live in the present, but be thinking about the future!  We will one day be held accountable...


Don’t give God the leftovers of your life, give Him your best!  If you can be on time for work you can be in place and on time on the Lord’s Day.  If you can organize and plan a vacation then you can plan and prepare your lesson for the little ones you teach.  If you can look at your calendar and set aside a future date for something exciting then you can make God a priority in advance, and decide “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!”


People are getting saved, and if you have already been saved, you should be willing to disciple one of them.  It will be great for both of you, and God can do it thru you.  God is not a beggar, He’s God!  But I’m a beggar and we need you!!


Remembering the future day of accountability will turn a pew warmer into a servant of God!  God might as well take you on to heaven if you won’t do what He left you here to accomplish.  And you can’t buy God off...I’m glad if you tithe, but that is not why God left you here.


1.     The Servant’s Ability.

A “Talent” is a measure of money, not an ability, but it applies just the same.  In each case every one got a different amount, but all got a lot, even if less than another.  For instance, the one w/ 5 talents got about 100 year’s wages!  2 talents = 40 years – 1 talent was still 20 years wages!


The Master represents the Lord Jesus, who said I go to prepare a place for you.  We are the servants in the parable.  The talents represent our abilities, our possessions, and our opportunities to serve the Lord.


We all have time, talents, and treasures to use for the Lord...and the key is not how much of each you have, but how faithful you are with whatever you have.


Everyone has been given something.  Each has something in their hand.  We all can serve God in some way!  And we’re all different because we are a body, and each one of us are body parts, and God wants us to work together as a team...interdependence is the key word...we need each other, and when you aren’t filling your place there is a hole left over, and that’s not fair to the others, to God, and not even to you!


Many of you can do great things that I cannot do.  I can do some things I was designed and trained for...but we all are necessary.


Ill.—Peter and Andrew were brothers, but very different.  One was loud, the other quiet, one spoke to crowds, the other was more personable one on one.  One had more strengths but also more weaknesses, and Peter wouldn’t ever have seen thousands saved if he hadn’t been won to the Lord by his own brother!


Ill.—Billy Graham was won by Mordecai Hamm, who came thru Billy Sunday, who came thru J. Wilbur Chapman, who was won by D.L. Moody, but Moody was won by his s.s. teacher in Boston when he was 17.  He was just a businessman named Edward Kimball, who went out after work and visited every member of his class to ask them if they were saved.  He found Moody in the stock room behind the shoe store where he worked, and there in a room full of shoes he led one guy to Christ, but also started a chain reaction that won millions and is still in progress today!


Good thing Mr. Kimball didn’t bury his talent, but used what little he had for God!  He took his duty seriously, and wasn’t just a duty Christian warming a pew.  God rewarded not great talent, but just faithfulness.  You may not feel like you can do much, but this is something you can can be faithful with what you have!


The servant’s ability...


2.     The Servant’s Activity.

v. 16        He went to work! 

v. 17        He was just as faithful!


Don’t expect God to give you more until you are faithful with what you’ve got.  Do what you know, then grow.  No skipping steps!


God has blessed me w/a great church, and now a worldwide ministry that I never dreamed of when I was starting out doing my bus routes, puppets in jr. church, singing in choir, talking to a friend on the street about being saved, starting a Bible club, going to nursing homes, scrubbing toilets at the church, vacuuming acres of carpet, changing the trash, wiping snotty noses, serving food, pulling weeds, picking up trash, doing fundraisers, washing cars, recruiting kids for camp, driving for trips, lettering the sign, etc...and by the way, I’m still doing most of those things because I’m not above them, they are part of what has made me who I am today...and if only I’ll be faithful today, God may make more of me some day!!


Are you using your talents?  Do you play an instrument?  Can you sing?  Can you wash a dish or pilot a broom?  Can you talk to people?  You can serve the Lord!


It’s true, we are happiest when we do what are made to do, but we need reminded of something important:  Often God won’t let us do what we want to do until we prove ourselves willing to do something we don’t want to do.


I’m passionate about this, because we live in the days of convenience based Christianity, and today more than ever people do what they want to do, not what they need to do!  We should be asking, where am I needed, but instead we ask, what do they have that will do the most for me?


My wife and I both could have gone into music careers that would have included more fame and applause than what we do today.  I’ve had offers to travel w/ major national groups, we could focus on recording and selling cds, but we don’t.  We left a cushy, comfortable position as Assistant Pastor in a wonderful place, making more money, doing far less work, and why?  Because servants aren’t celebrities.  There’s work to do, and it was on 9/11 that I knew we needed to launch out and get to work.  Don’t get me wrong...I’m not complaining and I certainly wouldn’t change a thing...God has rewarded us richly, and I just want to share this testimony, not in pride or braggingly, because it is humility that has brought us to the place we are today!  My wife could play the part of the professional pastor’s wife, and bask in the glory of the position and the honor, but where is she?  Oh yeah, in children’s ministries, and other times she’s serving behind the scenes...she’s like several of our folks that are the glue that holds things together, and help things operate out of the limelight, out in the trenches!


Our servants get here first, leave last, and never stop in between!  They don’t ask how can this church be a blessing to me, but how can I be a blessing to this church!  Is it the nursery, or children’s church, on visitation, painting a big block wall?  Lemme at it!


There ought to be a waiting list to be a discipler, but oh there’s a waiting list alright...a list of disciplee’s just waiting for someone who will be willing to help them!


As fruitful as our children’s ministries are, there should be people beating down the doors to try to get in on it!  But no, we are reduced to begging year round to try to give some relief to those who do it all, who by the way, love every minute of it and will keep on until it kills them if we don’t step up to the plate!


The 3rd man in this parable was given one talent. 

v. 18        This is the person who could help, but for some reason they don’t.  Maybe it’s unwillingness, or maybe it’s innocent and they just need to know they are needed, and to get networked to the right area.  Maybe they don’t feel qualified but tonite they realize that the best ability is just ‘availability!’


A day of accountability is coming.

v. 19        These last days we should be watching and working, because the ‘long time’ in this verse has come and gone.  Back then his return was not immediate, today it is imminent! 


Look at the results for the faithful:

·       Praise—vv. 21, 23—not praise of men, but of the Lord...if that doesn’t motivate you, there’s a deeper problem in your heart!

·       Promotion—the same verses indicate reward, and this includes our position in God’s a servant today and you may just be a ruler in that day!

·       Punishment for the unfaithful—v. 30—is this suggesting he lost his salvation?  No!  It suggests that a truly saved saint will serve!  Now don’t serve in order to be’s not by works...just realize that tho’ serving isn’t the root of your salvation, it will be the fruit of your salvation!



Talent Survey [pdf format, best]


Or view it below if you cannot open the pdf, above...



We have listed a few areas of service, and we encourage you to prayerfully mark the appropriate areas in the survey below.  This will help us to see where your natural gifts, abilities and training fit into the ministry of Grace Baptist.  If you are presently working in one of the areas listed below, mark the appropriate item with a “P” – If you would be interested in helping in a given area on a regular or occasional basis, mark the item with an “X.”


Challenge:  Everyone should be serving in at least 1 “Support” ministry [physical / talent / behind the scenes] and

1 “Soul” ministry [spiritual / directly promoting the salvation and growth of others].  “Soul” ministries are in bold.

Natural Talents / Abilities & Training / Experience

q        Deaf interpretation

q        Counseling skills

q        Kitchen help/serving/cleanup

q        Maintenance

q        Cooking/Baking

q        Decorating

q        Sewing

q        Landscaping/Lawn care

q        Sound system/Lighting

q        Electrical

q        Carpentry

q        Plumbing

q        Janitorial skills

q        Budget/financial

q        Computer skills (specify) _________________

q        Website

q       Other natural talents/abilities and/or training/experience (specify)  _____________________________________

Children’s Ministries [rotating basis]

q        Word of Life

q        Sunday School teacher

q        Sunday School assistant

q        Nursery worker

q        Junior Church/Children’s Church worker

q        Nursery Director

q        Discipler

q        Puppet/drama ministry

q        Other (specify – include age group preference) _____________________________________________________

Youth Ministries

q        Sunday School teacher

q        Sunday School assistant

q        Youth Nite (Wed. Club)

q        Activity/Trip chaperone

q        Other (specify – include age group preference) _____________________________________________________

Adult Ministries

q        Sunday School [teacher/assistant/secretary]

q        Outreach [Phone calls/Letters/Cards]

q        Attendance records

q        Greeter

q        Usher

q        Nursing home/shut-ins ministry

q        Library assistant

q        Special events planning (banquets)

q        Missions Committee

q        Mechanic/Vehicle maintenance

q        Bus/van Driver

q        Bus/Van Captain/Assistant

q        Hospital visitation

q        Home visitation

q        Office Tasks

q        Altar worker

q        Other (specify) _____________________________________________________

Music Ministries

q        Choir member

q        Soloist

q        Ensemble singer

q        Pianist

q        Organist

q        Adult song leader

q        Children’s song leader

q        Children’s choir

q        Children’s ministry accompanist

q        Youth ministry accompanist

q        Youth ministry song leader

q        Orchestra/musician (instrument) ___________

q        Other (specify)


Believing that God wants me to be a good steward of my time, talents and testimony, I gladly offer my personal gifts, abilities and interests (as noted above) into the Lord’s service at Grace Baptist Church.


Signed: ____________________________________________ 

[Please turn in within 1 week!]



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All Sermons and PowerPoint Slideshow Presentations ©Copyright Jerry Shirley and Grace Notes Ministries® unless otherwise credited.  These resources are yours to use freely, but only in public worship services or private study groups and devotions.  They may not be sold, republished or retransmitted in any form without written permission.