Why do you serve in Ministry?
This is a question I have been examining in my heart of late and praying that I answer it honestly, but not just that; that I find it Right.
Is it because you are called or you feel your blessing is attached to it? Is it ‘cos there’s need and you can fill the vacant position? Do you enjoy it? Or it’s kinda glamorous? Or perhaps it’s ‘cos your friend invited you, or it’s just simply a family thing? Yes, my parents both serve in Ministry in their local church, and no, I didn’t join Ministry because of that. Is my heart genuinely in it? Are our hearts genuinely in Ministry? in service?
For lack of better words, I serve in two ministries: one that I chose and another that chose me. I can’t honestly place how I got myself into the other one that chose me and which has different units.
I have been a fun of Connie Talbot and Kaitlyn Maher for the longest time. After a lengthy duration of procrastination on working with kids, there’s one preaching from a hilarious pastor who happens to head the Mombasa branch of the church I go to which led me straight out of the main sanctuary to the kids tent exactly two and a half years ago. I knew precisely what I wanted – kids from around 7 years. The 1st question I asked the lady I got at the tent was, “Is there a Ministry in this church where kids learn music?” My journey with kids thus began, first with Christmas musicals then Sunday school.
Exactly a year later, in October 2015, there appeared a need for a lead-facilitator in our Bible study group. Our Discipleship pastor came to one of our meetings and as he was praying, I was also praying silently and I clearly told God, “God don’t choose me. Please, don’t choose me.” I even went ahead and pointed out to God two or three people I considered more able to undertake that task. Well, he told us to help him pray then promised to return with an answer in two weeks. Your guess is as good as mine. The baton was handed over to me. I remember looking straight at the pastor and asking him, “Are you sure you heard God tell you that I, Irene, should be the one to lead this CG?” I was terrified, very terrified. That ‘leader’ word terrified me. It is something I wanted to run away, hide from. The word was sooo huge to me that I didn’t want whatsoever to associate myself with it. Besides, I felt I was way much less capable and there were people more able and better positioned than I in the group to undertake the task. Can you imagine if you met me the following day after the CG & Discipleship Pastor prayed over me and officially commissioned me for this task then asked me the same question, ‘Why do you serve as a small group facilitator?”
So, why serve in Ministry?
An excerpt from Better Together by Rick Warren forms the basis of my writing today.
“…the motive for serving is love. Paul says, “Serve one another in love.” This is an important key to building community. Without love, service doesn’t count in God’s eyes. 1Cor 13:3″
“God is far more interested in WHY you serve others than He is interested in HOW WELL you serve them. He’s always looking at your heart.” This! captured my attention. I thought our God loves excellence, why wouldn’t He be more interested in ‘How well’? And why would Rick even write this?
I thought for a while and it hit me. That ‘why’ is hidden from man. Only God can see it. What man sees is ‘how well’. That God is less interested in that which people see as compared to that which He sees, deep down in your heart; that which others can’t see – ‘why’ you serve them. And I believe that this doesn’t mean we water down the ‘how well’, rather that we address the ‘why’ first.
Rick Warren further states that,
“.. the basis for serving others is salvation. Paul says, “You were called to be free.” You can not serve God until you’ve been set free by Jesus. It is the prerequisite for serving. Until you experience the transforming power of God’s grace in your life, you are too enslaved by your own habits, hurts and hang-ups to think much about others. Without the freedom of forgiveness, you end up serving for the wrong reasons: trying to earn the approval of others, trying to run away from your pain, trying to remedy your guilt, trying to impress God. Service that is motivated by these illegitimate reasons is bound to leave you burned out and bitter in the end.”
So, why do you serve others?
The perfect demonstration of servanthood is that of Master Jesus washing His disciples feet – an action that was a reserve of the lowly servants and which showed His: great love, wonderful humility and how lowly and condescending He was.
John 13:12b-17 He says,
“…Do ye know what I have done to you? Ye call me the Teacher and the Lord, and ye say well, for I am so. If I therefore, the Lord and the Teacher, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another’s feet, for I have given you an example that, as I have done to you, ye should do also. Verily, verily, I say to you, the bondman is not greater than his lord, nor the sent greater than he who has sent him. If ye know these things,blessed are ye if ye do them.”
I have been reading the Book of John and it just hit me that Christ was so deliberate in explaining ‘why‘ He served His disciples in this manner, much more than ‘how well’ He did it. There you go!!
Well, we are called to have a servant heart, a servant attitude and exhibit attributes of servanthood in leadership.
Servant differs from slave, as the servant’s subjection to a master is voluntary, the slave’s is not. Every slave is a servant, but every servant is not a slave.
Servanthood applies beyond Church, even in governance, business, corporates and all the places where each of us has been called to serve.
I would like to invite you to join me in this journey of honestly answering the question as to ‘why’ we serve others; and not just only that, but to find it RIGHT.