One of the verses I personally find incredibly challenging as a pastor is Colossians 1:28-29. There, Paul says that the thing he toils and struggles with all his energy – is to present everyone mature in Christ.

I have been to many conferences where figures something like this are bandied about.

In most churches – 20% of people are sold out to the Lord – 20% are an anchor to the work and 60% are merely passengers.

Whether that is accurate or not – Paul would never accept that.

He toils and struggles with all his energy – is to present everyone mature in Christ.

Please understand what this means.

Mums and dads – most of you have probably said something like this to your children regarding school.

James – I want you to study hard, prepare diligently and do your best on this exam. Now if you do this and you get a C – fine – I am proud of you.

But son, if you have A ability and coast to a C – know Dad will not be happy.

Or if you are a C student who gets an F – again – not happy.

In a similar way, God has gifted every one of us differently. This is both in what gifts we have and our capacity to use those gifts.

For example, many Christians have the gift of teaching – few have the capacities of a Charles Spurgeon.

Unfortunately, sometimes we pastors seem to hold up the greatest saints of the ages – as the norm. Men and women who prayed for hours each day. Non-stop evangelists. Those who could read Greek and Hebrew at 8 years old.

No – very few have that capacity.

But we are all called to be faithful with the gifts and capacities we do have.

If you are faithful to serve God with whatever you have – God will be well pleased – and that is maturity for you.

Paul set a task – everyone pushed to become the mature saints they were created to be.

Unfortunately, the reality is that in most churches there are too many of us cruising, comfortable, happy to stay in our comfort zones.

But, I know that the men and women who turned the world of the first century upside down were not passengers.

They realised that the church was a battleship not a cruise liner.

We need become mature saints using our gifts to their capacity to be faithful servants.