Servitude – How To Get Started


There are a ton of ways available to serve.  The easiest way to serve God takes place through expressing the love of God in very practical ways. Hopefully this little post will help you figure out how to get started serving.

  • Start Somewhere-One of the biggest steps you can take in serving is to simply get past all the initial concerns and fears you have and start serving somewhere.
  • Discover Your Talents-As you serve, you’ll notice specific talents that God has equipped you with.
  • Serve at Church– Every church rely’s on it’s members to be the body of Christ. With every body, the eyes have to see and the ears have to hear and the hands have to lift or whatever other function they are serving. There is a place for everyone to serve somewhere and somehow at any and every church.
  • Opportunites are everywhere– So many times opportunities are missed because we simply are not looking for them.
  • The Greatest Need– Jesus is their greatest need. Eventhough you may meet a practical need for someone, always remember the greatest need.

So your not ready to just jump in head first, start simple then. Start in your own church. Ask your pastor what can I do? But be ready when you do, they always have a list and remember it might not be exactly what you feel comfortable with doing but isn’t it time to get out of that comfort zone a little. The following is a list (albeit not a complete list as there are multiple ways to serve both inside and outside the church) to give you some ideas for serving that comes from the church my family and I attend. This might give you some other ideas as to what other churches maybe needing just the same:

  • Hospitality Greeter-Greet everyone with a smile and helpful attitude. Identify and welcome visitors and help direct them to the appropriate areas.
  • Children’s Ministry Teacher– Review and prepare lesson to teach and prepare crafts. You will have a helper to assist you. * No experience necessary, just a willing heart. Training provided.
  • Children’s Ministry Helper– Assist the teacher during class. *No experience necessary, just a willing heart. Training provided.
  • Nursery– Adult Rockers, rock and comfort babies while parents are in service.
  • Information Table– Provide visitors and members with information on current events and sign-ups, etc.
  • Events Teams– Help with miscellaneous events such as Christmas events, fellowships, outreach, HUGS, and the Parade. If you can decorate, cook, sew, clean, enjoy crafts and painting, or don’t mind setting up and can help carry items needed during events, your help is always welcome.
  • Prayer Ministry– If you have a passion for prayer, this is the right place for you to serve.
  • Computer Operator– The person responsible for assisting Sunday service by running the computer to support and enhance the Message.

This is by far not a complete list and please remember there’s always an opportunity to serve somewhere, the question is if you are willing and ready to receive.

Forever Under Construction,
Chris

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Servitude IV – What are the Benefits


As with any job or position of responsibility, one thing that many people look at is the benefits package.  What kind of medical plan do you offer?  Is it HMO or PPO?  Do you have a dental plan?  Is it 80/20 and does it cover major reconstruction?  Do you offer profit sharing or 401k matching?  How much time off can I earn based on years of service?  Well, there’s so much of this and even more when you start serving others thru Christ.

“His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'”
–Matthew 25:21 (New King James Version)

For starters, one of the benefits you will receive by serving others is many great responsibilities in the eyes of God.  Because you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over manythings.  Man, sometimes when I think about that, it scares me a little.  Ruler over many things.  You mean to tell me that if I serve and do the few things here eventhough at times it seems overwhelming and I tend to get bogged down and I feel like I can’t do it anymore but I press on, God will make me ruler over many things.  Whew, that’s a lot of responsibility.  But what always brings me back to it is this, if God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.  So bring’em on!

I think though, even greater than this is that ultimately you’d be able to share in the master’s joy.  How cool would that be to be able to finally be face to face with your Lord and Master, and hear Him say those little words: “Well done, good and faithful servant”.  It gives me shivers just thinking about it.  I apologize here but I tend to get a little excited.  Just think back for a moment when you were a child and remember that first time or first few times when your mom or dad looked at you and smiled and said “good job, I knew you could do it”.  How’d that make you feel?  Well, for me personally, I can remember walking around like the rooster in the coop.  Chest all pumped out, feathers all ruffled, just strutting!  Smiling all day.  I think one thing that I tend to forget is this, no matter how old I may get, I will always be a child of God and a child in His eyes until the day I come face to face with him.  Man I want to hear those words from His lips.

I’ll leave you with this, the same quote we started with in the first post:

“…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 20:28

That’s how you hear those little words that will mean so much when the time comes, “Well done, good and faithful servant”, is to serve.
Forever Under Construction,
Chris

Servitude III – No Experience Necessary


Ok, so let’s talk about this servitude thing, what does it take to serve others?  Do I need to have any sort of specialized experience, or any experience in a certain area that someone maybe looking for?  Well maybe, but more often than not, there’s no experience necessary to serve.  Quite possibly, my most favorite passage of all explains it like this:

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God”
Ephesians 2:8-9 (New King James Version)

That is the only experience needed to be able to serve. It took me a long time to realize this simple little thing. I always felt as if I had to work or do something good or be someone spectacular to receive this salvation.  How far from the truth was that thought. There’s simply nothing, nothing that you nor I can ever do to receive that salvation from God. He’s already given it to us. Well, let me qualify that just a bit, we simply have to reach out to receive it, it’s already been given, it’s sitting there waiting patiently for me. My salvation can only be accomplished by one thing and one thing only, Jesus’ death on the cross. He offered His sacrifice to me, to us, as a free gift.

There’s nothing for you to do, nothing you can do, no boasting, no bragging about look what I did so your neighbor knows, nothing! It simply comes by the “grace of God”. There are many different meanings that different people have put to this grace. What it means to me is this.  Regardless of all my imperfections, He loves me and will always love me for I am His. Now don’t get me wrong and please hear me on this, ultimately salvation makes a difference on how I live, but it’s not a criteria for receiving it. Pure and simple, it’s a gift. One of the greatest gifts that you or I will ever be able to receive as no matter what you do or how much money you make (I don’t care if you are almost as rich as Bill Gates) you can’t afford it. All you have to do is accept it and that’s all the experience you’ll ever need to be able to serve.

Forever Under Construction,
Chris

Servitude II – The Prerequisites


How can I serve?  I don’t know if I’m even qualified to do anything.  What’s the pre-req’s?  Well, fortunately for all of us, the qualifications to serve others thru Christ are much simpler than that of becoming a court apointed counsel for somebody or to serve on some type of governmental board where there are minimum age requirements, background checks, bar exams, etc.  Jesus laid out these qualifications quite simply thru Phillippians 2:3-8.

Serving Qualification #1

Philippians 2:3-4 (New Living Translation)
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

You have to be unselfish.  Selfish ambition can never be your motivation for doing something.  You serve with nothing other than the ability to give God all the glory and honor.  Therefore you have to look out for other peoples needs and interests by humbling yourself with the opportunity to bless them with God’s goodness and grace.  Look at your hands.  These are the hands that God uses to touch those in need.  The entire focus of serving should be on the interests of the kingdom and expanding that over expanding self.

Serving Qualification #2

Philippians 2:5 (New Living Translation)
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

You have to adopt a Christ-like attitude.  As believers, you are to be Christ-like. But this is not only in your thoughts but in your behavior as well. Verse 5 tells us point blank to allow the attitude of Christ work deep within us all. Enough said as it’s pretty self-explanatory.

Serving Qualification #3

Philippians 2:6-8 (New Living Translation)
Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

You have to be committed. Committed by being humble and obedient. Committed to the cause. Committed to the Church. Committed to people. This is possible by making Christ both your Mentor and Model. Jesus willingly chose to lay aside his divine form and take the form of one of us, man. He could’ve chosen to be one of the more rich an powerful figures of the time that had influence throughout the land, but he didn’t. He took the position of servant, slave. And to top it all off, he died a horrible death, a criminal’s death. But through it all, He humbled himself and was committed to the cause. He could’ve easily walked away from it all on multiple occassions, but the commitment, trusting God and bringing glory to God.

Are you qualified? You bet you are. God has given every one of us this ability. The question comes in though, are you willing to lay aside the rights and privileges that are all about you and be willing to accept that life-role that God is looking for you to fill. I read this somewhere, so sorry for not being able to quote it properly at this time but it really stuck with me:

“It’s not only about lifting your hands up, but also stretching your hands out to pick someone up.”


It’s not about becoming a Bible scholar or just bible study. That’s what the Pharisees were all about(bible study, prayer, worship) but they neglected to serve the needs of the people.

“The last thing many believers need today is to go to another Bible study. They already know far more than they are putting into practice. What they need are serving experiences in which they can exercise their spiritual muscles”
–Rick Warren, Purpose Driven Life (p. 231)

When we serve others we are serving God.  Don’t sweat the small stuff if you think you will be able to do it or not. Besides, you don’t do it from any perspective or strength of your own, you accomplish it using the grace and strength God has given you to do what He’s called you to do.

Forever Under Construction,
Chris

Servitude – Part 1


What does it mean to be a servant?

“…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 20:28

To me, this is so powerful! The Son of Man, came to serve. How can that be. This is God’s Son. Are you kidding me? Someone in this position serving others. Well, that’s exactly what He did. So why would I ever think that I am any better than that.  Jesus set one of the most stunning examples ever displayed in my opinion as to what it means to serve and be a servant.  Yes, He did perform miracles such as giving a blind man sight again.  Yes, I guess miracles for somebody could be construed as serving someone.  But miracles are not what this is about.  This little series that I hope to be introducing into my life as well as any others that may be reading this is about actually serving others.

John 13

Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet

It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.

The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”

“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”

Jesus answered, “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 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.

Jesus knew his time was near.  He also knew that this would be the last time he would be with all his disciples. This lesson that Jesus taught the disciples was a lesson of love for He loved them so.  It was to be humble.   Humility and servitude is love.  The second command Jesus gave was simple: “loving your neighbor as yourself”.  Second only to loving God.  Jesus knew that the disciples pride would absolutely wreak havoc with their relationship with God, themselves, and the people they were trying to reach and save.  This service showed them, physically showed them, you have to serve to love.  It doesn’t matter who or how, but to spread the Word, you have to serve as a servant.

People, myself included, will line up by the droves to serve those things that are deemed important or respected.  But who lines up to do all those remedial tasks that doesn’t get the limelight, doesn’t share the glory as something tremendous.  I know in my own experience that this is a very short line that I’ve often overlooked myself.  Where’s the reward?  Why should I do that?  Jesus showed humility by not saying a word and disrobed, wrapped himself in a towel and filled a basin full of water and served in a task that absolutely no one wanted to do.  A task that is served by the lowest ranking person in the room as its a dirty job.  He washed the disciple’s feet.

Was Jesus the lowest ranking person in the room?  Absolutely not!  Did he think this was below him? No. So now I’ve got to ask myself, are there tasks that I simply won’t do because they are lowly?  Because they are hard?  Because they offer no recognition in the eyes of the world? Because they’re dirty?  But aren’t these the jobs that need to be done the most or should be done the most? Who’s reward am I looking for?

I need to be willing to do the things that need to be done, period.  Whatever is needed.  Not only did Jesus prepare himself to perform this service to others, he was willing to. As a Christian, I have a responsibility to follow these actions. I will not waste my time being concerned about how I compare to others and it’s not my job to judge others for what they may not do.  If I see a need, I need to be responsible and fill it no matter what the need may be.  It’s a sin if I do not:

“Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” –James 4:17 (NIV)

I can tell you now and quite honestly, one of the hardest obstacles I’m going to face in this is something that Jesus did willingly. He even washed the feet of Judas, the person he knew was going to betray him. How could he do this? How will I be able to get over my pride to be able to serve those who have betrayed me. Pride, I’ve got to get rid of it. If Jesus could wash the feet of the man he knew was going to betray him, He KNEW, yet he still served him. I’ve got to be willing to do the same.

Now the question remains, since I know what servitude is, how can I serve? What can I do? What are the qualifications? Any experience necessary? Does the position come with benefits? Stay tuned and as always please feel free to drop me a line or leave a comment.

–Forever under construction