“The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve.” Matthew 20:28.
In some ways, serving in prison ministry is the easiest kind of service. Much of the work takes place on the mountain tops. We’re not always present in the valleys where the real work is. Further, those served in prison ministry are so accustomed to mistreatment that they are extremely grateful when served. Regretfully, such is not the case in day-to-day church ministry. Because of the structure of most of our churches our pastors and church staff are “employees” of those they serve. The served come to expect not only the service of the servants but the right to direct how that service is performed. Bad for the servant and the served.
This situation can cause the servant to forget that it is the Lord who is boss. To further complicate things, many of the served tend to put the servants on pedestals making the servant at times tend to forget he is a servant at all.
The Lord made it clear that He came to serve. “We have the idea that a man called to the ministry is called to be a different kind of being from other men. According to Jesus Christ, he is called to be the “door-mat” of other men; their spiritual leader, but never their superior.”
Further complicating church life is the multiple focus of church staff. Having a perceived obligation to the already saved members of the church who pay their salaries, they also feeling the strong tug of the great commission. They know that it is those outside the church who need their service most. OC says it well: “So long as there is a human being who does not know Jesus Christ, I am his debtor to serve him until he does.
The mainspring of Paul’s service is not love for men, but love for Jesus Christ. If we are devoted to the cause of humanity, we shall soon be crushed and broken-hearted, for we shall often meet with more ingratitude from men than we would from a dog; but if our motive is love to God, no ingratitude can hinder us from serving our fellow men.”
Those who serve daily in the church have my admiration. The pulls on their time and service are great and often seem conflicting. My prayer for them is that they are able to focus on the fact that it is Jesus who is the customer. We all answer to Him. When we further consider what He has done for us; then no service is too great. Our direction comes from the Boss and His satisfaction with our service is all that matters. Servants, listen to your Boss, follow His voice and conflicts and the clamor of the served will fade.
Church life will improve and the voice of the Boss will be easier to hear and follow when those in the pews clamor less and serve more.
Shut up, Stand up and Serve.
Oh and Be blessed.