Service – “The Shift from 'Serve Us' to Service”
One day a boy and his mother pulled into their driveway and the boy noticed that their neighbor was trying to remove the tree caterpillars from one of her trees. The boy looked at his mother and told her that they needed to go over and help their neighbor. So, soon the boy and his mother where helping a neighbor remove tree caterpillars. This story was shared with me by the boy’s Sunday School teacher. The teacher was so excited because one of her students was practicing in his life what they had studied in their class. He was living out the words of Jesus when Jesus told his disciples, “For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)
What it means to be a Christian is not difficult to comprehend but it is difficult, at times, to live. There is something in many of us that makes us want to be served but reluctant to serve others. Those who are Jesus’ disciples follow the example that Jesus set. That example of Service is what the boy had been taught and was now living out.
Our SHIFTS Team is studying the shifts that are needed for a church to become truly vibrant and vital. One of those shifts is the shift from “Serve Us” to Service. I am sure that the boy and his mother had plenty to do. I am sure that they were both tired from a long day of activities. But, when they arrived to the place where they could rest and take care of their needs and wants, they chose to move their focus from themselves to someone else. It is this shift that makes a difference in the lives of others. It is this shift that brings vitality to a church. It is this shift that transforms society through the Service of the people of God.
This Sunday (October 2) we begin our Discipleship Emphasis Month. We will focus on our membership vows of Prayers, Presence, Gifts, Service and Witness. This Sunday we start by looking at the membership vow of Service.
I do not know about you, but I wish that I could make a greater difference in people’s lives and in our world. I wish that I could help people to know the God that loves them and that I love and serve. But it seems that many people’s ears are closed to what I have to say. It seems that many people’s hearts are hardened and no words can penetrate their armor. Showing God’s love through our Service to others is often what it takes to open ears and soften hearts.
It is my hope that our worship this Sunday will invite us, encourage us and better equip us so that the people that we meet in the coming weeks will be willing to open their ears and soften their hearts to what we have to share because they have experienced, through us, the love of God in our Service to them. I hope that you will worship us with us this Sunday and throughout the month of October.