Colossians 3:23, 1 Peter 2:18, Mathew 20:26.
Sometimes taking a few steps backwards and looking at the actual meaning of words can set us on a new rewarding path. Nobody wants to be called a servant these days; “Servant” Connotes “Slave”. There is however a thin line here; Servants have their freedom and they are paid for their labour but slaves do not and are not. Servant is from the word “Serve”, it describes a person employed to render service to another either an individual or organization. Serving involves having delegated duties and being obligated to deliver usually for pay.
There are two ways to serve; one can chose to get paid or work without payment, voluntarily. This is what is referred to as actual “serving” especially among the Christian folks. Let’s take an insight into God’s word and see how he expects us to serve.
- Serve first. In Mathew 20:26, Jesus assures us that there is one sure way to greatness, and that is to run errands for others; “But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister”. The word minister there is translated “to run errands” sort of like a waiter. It means to attend to even menial duties for others. Jesus, please, how does doing such a dirty job connote greatness? It is not the act but the character and the mental predisposition that brings about the genuine service. Servants have just one motive, which is to please their master. It takes a lot of humility and love for one to forget himself and focus almost entirely on others. The heart of a servant is one that looks out for others. God wants us to use our resources, skills, time to attend to others as though we were attending to him (Colossians 3:23). So whether you are being paid or not, anytime you have a job to deliver, let your heart be to be attuned to serve first like God will have you do.
- Serve the saints. John Maxwell says that the church is the only place where leadership exists in its purest form because there is no leverage like salary to motivate people to work or scare them of loss; nothing is as stake. Often time, work in church is done almost entirely by volunteers. Most leaders in church serve God in areas where they are skilled and they do it for the love of it. Serving in church causes you to focus on others, pleasing God and kingdom advancement. Though most Church leaders are not paid, God never forgets to reward them. It is an incredible way to grow and serve; “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be” (Revelation 22:12).
- Serve with your Resources. Resources are a lot but let’s focus on time, money and skills. Serving others with your time could investing your time in a course for the benefit of others especially people who can’t pay you back. There are lots of organizations and selfless courses out there you could be a part of for example going planning/embarking on a mission trip or donating blood for helpless patients. One great way spend money is putting it into some kingdom advancement project like missions especially when projects that will serve humanity would be built. Lastly, you find a selfless course in church or elsewhere and volunteer your skills in service.
Service always pays, and Jesus says it is one route to greatness. Deliver whatever is committed into your hands in genuine service, paid or unpaid.