Serving Your World
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature[a] God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (Philippians 2:5-7, NIV)
Forget the humanistic goal of being useful, being used by God, doing something significant, or doing something impressive, even if it is “for God”. This is idolatry, and far from the nature of Christ.
In my first year of ministry, a friend asked me to go visit a woman whose husband had just died from a sudden heart attack. I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know how to pray. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know much of anything. I was a newly wed, 25 year old pastor.
Thankfully, I remembered this text from Henri Nowen’s book, “The Practice of the Presence of God”,
My own desire to be useful, to do something significant, or to be part of some impressive project is so strong that soon my time is taken up by meetings, conferences, study groups, and workshops that prevent me from walking the streets.
It is difficult not to have plans, not to organize people around an urgent cause, and not to feel that you are working directly for social progress. But I wonder more and more if the first thing shouldn’t be to know people by name, to eat and drink with them, to listen to their stories and tell your own, and to let them know with words, handshakes, and hugs that you do not simply like them, but truly love them. – Henri Nowen
I went to the store, bought flowers and went to her house. I walked in and asked questions; she talked for an hour and I listened. She introduced me to several of her friends who needed what she experienced that day. I visited them, too.
Every visit led to another person who needed a visit. Every one of them had sons and daughters who needed help. Eventually, many people in the church began intentionally taking time and opportunity to care for people. The church started growing, and people came to hear about Jesus as a result of someone just coming to their house and serving in a simple way.
Here’s something to consider: God will bless those who serve people. Here are a few suggestions today:
- Ask God to open your eyes to needs.
When you do this you’ll begin to see people the way God sees them. Find out what God is doing in people’s lives and jump on board with Him and do your part.
2. Lay down your fear of not knowing what to do.
You don’t have to be good at talking or good at anything in order to serve people. You can just show up with a hand-written note on a plain piece of paper that says, “I love you, my friend, and I wanted you to know it.” Then give them a hug and ask if you can pray for them. Serving people is that simple.
3. Believe you have something to offer.
You can’t serve with what you don’t have, but you can serve with what you do have. You have enough to serve well. Use what you do have and change your world with it. Don’t waste opportunities to use what you have because you’re waiting for something you don’t have.
4. Give stuff away like crazy.
As much as you possibly can, and as often as you can, give stuff away to people who are in need. Find a way to get your hands on things you can give away.
What is God asking you to do today in order to serve someone in a simple way?
Who do you need to just be present for? Who do you need to just show up and be there with? Write down their name and pray about the action you need to take, then take action to go meet their needs.
Jesus, give me your tender and compassionate heart for people today. Thank you for serving me so faithfully and giving me your heart for people. Break my heart for what breaks yours. Teach me to listen to, love, and care for others. Teach me to serve. Send me where you want me to go and fill me with your heart as I go today, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
- DREAM TEAM – If you struggle to find a way to serve, a great place to start making an immediate difference is by joining the Anchor Dream Team and meeting the needs of others through several Anchor ministries. Register at www.myanchorchurch.com/dreamteam today.
- GROWTH TRACK – register today for Step 1, 2 or 3 in the Growth Track at www.myanchorchurch.com/growthtrack. Then tell someone about what is happening in your journey to Know God.
- GET IN A GROUP – explore the opportunities to connect with other people in an Anchor Group at www.myanchorchurch.com/groups. You will grow and you will help others grow in their faith.