Awakening the Servant Church

Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.   1 Peter 4:9-11

Serving others in the name of Christ is as much a part of the Kingdom Life as is weekly communion and meeting together to worship. It is often, however, treated as optional with many opting out.

I admit, there are problems associated with serving others. It is time consuming and none of us seem to have time anymore. It means we will be disappointed in others. As we serve them, some will take advantage of us. Some will reject Christ although it is in the name of Christ that we serve. It can be a source of guilt if we choose not to follow in Jesus’ servant footsteps. It costs money. It can burn us out over time.  It will require sacrifice.

Service is a matter of heart, though … and our heart is to be formed by Christ. Jesus taught us to be servants.

Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Matthew 20:26-28 

 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.  John 12:25-26

Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36

We do not get to make a judgment call here … it is one of the two greatest commandments to love those around us. 1 Peter 4:9-11 gives us some things we must offer those around us who are in need … and these challenge us to be servants to our neighbors.

  • Offer Hospitality. Literally : be friendly to strangers. This is to be offered without grumbling.

  • Offer Your Gifts. Whatever gifts you have … use them for His glory. 1 Corinthians 7:7 “… Each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.”  Romans 12:6-8. 

  • Offer Grace. You have God’s grace at Your Fingertips. God uses your talent to be a gift to others.

  • Offer Words. Speech is a way that God moves in the lives of others – through what you say! The devil also uses speech – so guard your tongue!

  • Offer Service. Service – in the strength of God – this is not just about talent … it’s about  gifts that God himself is using.

  • Offer Praise. God is the recipient of the credit, glory, and honor.

Questions to ask that lead us to service:

  • What things need to be done within the local church. Is there already a ministry that I could plug into?

  • What things are being done inadequately or not at all? Does a ministry need to be started? Could I start it?

  • What problems exist? How could I contribute to the solution?

  • What kinds of things could I do on my own as an individual to contribute to the spiritual health of the congregation?  Too often we stand back and wait to be ASKED to do things. (Questions not original with me, jd)

Charles Kingsley said, “Have your tools ready and God will find you work.”

Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. John 13

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Notice this church’s vision statement. Good stuff. Everything on the site isn’t my ‘cup of tea’, but the vision is astounding…great!

Thanks for reading!

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