Faith Mentoring Helps

Five Servanthood Outcomes

In some circles, servanthood is considered a second-class, thankless job.  Yet, without hard-working people in the service industry, we would experience more headaches and inconveniences than we are accustomed to. 

Jesus-The Greatest Servant

Great and Servant is an oxymoron in our culture. To be great is seen as the king of the hill, lording it over others. The servant is seen as lowly and second-class. And yet, Jesus, who has complete authority over the entire universe, became a servant by laying down his life on the cross for us. Sin was once and for all defeated by Jesus. He gave his life so that you and I could experience life forgiven and free; if we choose to repent of our sin and trust in Christ alone.

who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:6-8 ESV

Serving Like Jesus

If you claim to be a Jesus follower, then you are called by Him to serve others. Serving does not come naturally to us. It takes the indwelling Holy Spirit to empower us to serve as Jesus did. In fact, it’s Christ serving others through you. (Reference Galatians 2:20).  For that to happen, there are two roadblocks we need to be aware of:

Selfishness: When we do not yield to Jesus, our selfishness gets in the way. Our flesh works against serving by saying “It’s not my job.”   

The story is told of a pastor who took a group to Haiti for a medical missions trip.  The responsibilities on that trip varied from setting up the temporary clinic, to cooking for the mission’s staff to other tasks. The pastor was assigned a most unusual task. He had to shave the groins of Haitian men having hernia surgeries. No one said serving was glamorous, but without that essential task, the doctors could not operate. So, the pastor humbled himself, as Jesus did for us, and shaved away!

The other roadblock to serving is Entitlement: “What’s in it for me?.”  What if the pastor objected to shaving grown men’s groins?  What if he said, “I refuse to be used by God for such a task. That task is beneath me.” Pride is the greatest enemy of truly Christ-centered servanthood.

Jesus Shows Us How to Serve

In the Philippians passage mentioned above, we see two key attitudes that Jesus modeled for us.: 

  1. Giving up his rights for the sake of others. The KIng of the universe gave up his position and became human, like us. He gave himself for others so that God would be exalted. 
  2. Obedience regardless of the cost. Jesus faced ridicule, shame, and attacks. They killed him. And even such, God exalted him. 

We see Jesus washing his disciples’ feet in John 13. In New Testament times, people walked barefoot or with sandals. Dirty feet were one step away from a dirty rectum. The amount of filth that feet collected in a day were more than you and I could imagine. It was a humbling task to clean the feet of another. Yet, Jesus willingly did so, to set us an example.

Two Key Essentials to Christ-centered Servanthood

Attitude:  You can operate out of obligation or you can out of freedom.  Obligation says “you have to”. Freedom says “I want to”.

Action: Serving is the backbone of the Gospel words we speak. The world is sick and tired of Christians talking about Jesus and doing nothing to serve through actions. Godly servanthood is non-exclusionary. 

Five Servanthood Outcomes

By serving through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, there are five outcomes you will notice.

  1. You will discover and develop your spiritual gifts. The split-second you came to Christ, he gave you spiritual gifts to be used in and outside the church. Serving helps you figure out how God has wired you and helps develop those gifts. I have always had a shepherd’s heart. In my early years as a Christian, I had a few opportunities to come alongside others. As I matured, I found mentoring to be where my shepherding gifts have flourished.
  2. You get to experience miracles. A pastor-friend told a story of him serving in a food line in the slums of Guatemala City. The line of people wrapped around the building. As soon as people entered and received their bowl of chicken and broth, more people came. And yet, the pot of chicken never depleted until late that evening. Everyone who came was fed. By serving in this food line, my friend experienced God showing up in ways he never expected!
  3. It increases your faith. In my many years of mentoring young men, I’ve seen God do some amazing things to turn lives in crisis around. Time and time again, God has shown up and in ways unique to the young man’s situations, has helped them mature as men for Christ. Serving increases my faith that God can handle whatever we face. 
  4. You experience the presence of God. There is nothing more that I want than to be in his presence. To see God show up and to know that he truly is aware and with us.  In serving, I experience the closeness of God.
  5. It’s good for your soul.  Studies show that in serving, you shift your focus off of yourself (selfishness and entitlement), to greater, more eternal things. Your body, mind, and soul experience a level of peace and wellness that you otherwise would not have, had you not served.

Keep in mind, serving is not you trying harder. It is you yielding to the Spirit who wants to use you, as he has uniquely wired you for the sake of the Kingdom.

Warrior On!

David Riffel is the Founder and Executive Director of Having gone through his warrior years (18-30) essentially without a mentor, God has placed in him a heart for warriors, to come alongside them in various ways as they figure out life. David’s newly released book, Mentoring Warriors: Coming Alongside Young Men 18-30, outlines principles for mentoring and gives advice for warriors in six key areas of life: self-management, life skills, education/career, relationships, faith, and identity.

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