At New wine Gareth Robinson said “In our family we have a rule that everyone gets to load the dish-washer” and then went on to explain that it was true for their Church family too.
Following on from yesterdays blog about the discipline of secrecy is our need to be people who serve.
No one knows who replaces the toilet-rolls, nips to the shop to buy milk so you can be welcomed with a nice coffee, cleans the floor after your kids have splashed paint everywhere and many more unseen jobs within the Church.
Often too, no-one notices the person that tirelessly visits our housebound members (some are delightful and some can be a real act of love!).
So much of what really matters about Kingdom Ministry is rarely the bits that show. -Ironically when Churches do job interviews they seem primarily concerned about the bits that show which actually I think are the bits that matter least, I’ve known poor preachers facilitate wonderful moves of God, and great preachers be utter rat-bags behind the scenes.
My friend David white once said “it is easier to find someone that will preach in the pulpit that it is to clean it” -to be fair he did spit a lot when he talked!
Yet the act of service is so vital for the health of any Church, but it is also vital for our own spiritual health.
when I was a teenager I got accused of “treating this place like a hotel!” but when you serve you are actually investing in the Community, not coming as a guest or a consumer. when you serve you feel part of the family.
Yet serving is so counter cultural now, and perhaps sometimes human beings are just a bit lazy, I was laughing in the leaders lounge at new wine about the people who will talk to you (and I’m sure they think what they are saying is important) and watch you working (moving tables, doing dishes, scrubbing floors) and they will talk and talk at you, but won’t lift a finger to help!
Yet serving reflects Jesus style of leadership, the God who took a towel and washed his disciples feet. The Servant King. The God who came “no to be served but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many”.
I read a facebook statement that said: “If serving is beneath you, then leadership is above you”. -It is true, at the heart of leadership in the economy of God is service.
Interesting too, I have seen people talk about believing God has a call on their life, even in some cases frustrated that God hasn’t opened the door sooner, but they won’t roll up their sleeves and serve, perhaps the key to opening up their destiny is a lot simpler than they think, and yet this also might involve a change of heart which might be a tougher call than they think.
when I think of service I am drawn to the story of Naaman a leader in the Babylonian army, a leader covered in the dreaded skin disease lea that Elijah’s servant told to bath 7 times in the river Jordan, he refused thinking he was too grand and the river was too murky, yet it was in humbling himself and submitting that he gained his healing and transformation (and deeper than his physical healing he realised that the God of Israel was the only Lord to be worshipped).
Scripture tells us (repeatedly) that “God opposes the proud and yet exalts the humble”, it is the humble that serve, it is the humble that seek the glory of God rather than boosting their own ego. Servanthood is a revolutionary act and choice in defiance of our egocentric self glorifying world.
So, lets grasp the discipline of secrecy and learn to lead less like Alan Sugar in his board-room and more like Jesus washing the disciples feet.
The call of Christ in my experience is downwardly mobile, it is an upside down Kingdom where the first are last, and the last first and the meek inherit the earth.
And I’ll close with another facebook meme that says “we often miss God’s great opportunities because they turn up in overalls and look like work”.