Congratulations! You have been randomly selected to clean the church bathrooms for one month. Don’t worry! We will supply everything you need to enjoy your time cleaning. Nice elbow high yellow gloves, clean rags, plenty of disinfectant, one toilet brush, one sponge, and of course, you get to use our portable Bluetooth Radio for whatever tunes you want to jam to while you clean! After you accept the offer, we will put your name back in the drawing so that you have another opportunity to serve! We have several drawings each week. The drawings include vacuuming the sanctuary, dusting the welcome area, mopping the floors, grounds maintenance, and office work, like organizing the mail and returning phone calls.
Did you leap for joy at the opportunity to serve or did you roll your eyes and wonder when in the world you would have time to do that? Are you thinking about all the other things you already do at church, so this opportunity doesn’t apply to you? Maybe you’re thinking “oh great another message about serving and helping others”? (that’s exactly what this is but stick with me.) Maybe you’re one of the few that has some extra time to spend two or three nights a week helping the church. There are so many categories we fit into when it comes to serving others. I emphasize “we” because I won’t sit behind this screen and pretend it’s all you other people with a problem.
Sometimes, we show up to church, say hello to some friends, and get caught up in the motions of making sure to take up space so the people around us don’t think we’ve backslidden. We show up, use the building like it’s the post office and never stop to think what we could be doing to help. I have met so many people who have a “that’s not my problem” mentality to church and to life. I will gladly inform you that isn’t at all what Jesus called us to do as the body of Christ. If you aren’t currently serving at your local church, you have just barely scratched the surface of your journey with God. When we first meet the disciples, they were all in completely different walks of life; tax collecting, catching fish, and a Zealot were just a few of their jobs. After Jesus called them, they left everything they had, to do the same job we are being called to today 1) Love and follow Jesus the Christ, 2) share the good news, 3) serve others. In Mark 10:45, it lays a foundation of servanthood, ” The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Hebrews 6:1 says he has a long memory, “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” and Galatians 5:13 touches on our free will, “For you were called to freedom, Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” There are many commandments, stories, and examples in the Bible imploring you to serve others. (If you don’t know how or where to serve, go and ask your pastor! I guarantee he’ll be glad to see you.)
I served as a missionary for 13 months in Honduras and when I felt like I couldn’t give any more because I was out of energy, out of patience, out of understanding, and out of love (I know it sounds bad), I would read a letter of encouragement my friend gave me before I left. Part of it reads “… and when you feel like you are out of love remember to love from God’s heart not your own.” It reminded me to love others with the love God gave me because that never ran dry, to have the compassion he was supplying because that never ran low, and to serve others with the energy he was filling me with because that battery wouldn’t deplete. God is calling us to do what his son did for 33 years, and what he sent the Holy Spirit to do since the day the veil tore. Through good days and bad days, I encourage you to keep lifting others up, keep serving others because the Holy Spirit and the whole body of Christ is with you!
Remember if you don’t Plug into the power source, you won’t ever have what you need to serve others the way you’ve been called to.