In our society we long to be served or pampered. We want people to be at our beck and call. We see the image of celebrities getting ready to be on camera with people falling all over them bringing them food, doing their hair/make-up, dressing them. It is a lifestyle that I think most of us secretly want.
Even in the church there is this serve the leader mentality at times. How do I know because I have seen it and I started to have that desire in my heart. In a couple of churches I have attended the guest speaker is to be pampered. Some even send you a request of what kind of food they want and how warm or cold they want their water. They come in late to the service with people following them making sure they are taken care of. I was trained to take very good care of the speakers.
It is not a bad thing to show honor. It is not a bad thing to serve one another. We are asked by God to love and serve one another. But it can become bad if you require it of others. So seeing speakers and leaders in churches being pampered I thought in the back of my mind when I became a speaker I wouldn’t go to the extremes of requesting water or food, or even a fee. I would do it for free but I would come with my own “minor” terms and my own time.
I was asked to speak at a church recently. I was excited. It is always an honor when God opens up opportunity for me to pour into people. As I was communicating back and forth with my contact person it was requested of me to be at the place at a earlier time than I had planned on. I was not happy at all. In my heart I got prideful and thought “Hey I am the speaker, I have a lot to do before I make the journey there, you don’t get to ask me when to come. I will show up when I can get there.” Now I am being very honest with you and I am turning red as I write this. But I had allowed the culture of demanding service in my heart. And though I had made a decision not to go to the extreme of asking for things or money I still had an attitude of “Serve Me”
The next morning I woke up and spent time with the Lord. He let me know that I was being prideful and I was to serve not be served. Jesus also instructed me that any time I was asked to do a speaking engagement I was to come when I was requested to be there and I was to serve. That meant help set up or clean up, make myself available to serve. If they asked me to come at a super early time and I had time to spare I was to pray and set the atmosphere. That I was not to ever come to be served but to serve. Then Jesus reminded me of his mission. That He came to serve and not be served. He then gave me this scripture.
42 So Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. 43 But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Mark 10:42-45 (NLT)
I was so convicted that I immediately wrote my contact person and apologized for telling them I could not be there when they wanted me. I asked for their forgiveness and said I would be there when they had asked.
It was a big lesson for me and I saw how pride had started to grow in my heart. I saw that it probably would not have stopped there but would have grown and I would have wanted to be served more and more. Since thislesson I have had the privileged of having another speaking engagement. After the event was over with I stayed back and helped clean up, took tables down and put away chairs. It was such a joy to help and I really loved doing it.
God’s ways are nothing like the world’s ways. Jesus came to serve and give his life for many and He expects his followers to do the same. We are not called to be served but to serve those around us, especially if we are in leadership positions. If you are a leader your job as a Christ follower is to serve those God has placed in your care. You are to have the attitude of a slave. Christ is our greatest example and we are to be like Him in every aspect of our lives.
It’s time to serve!