Through the years, I have served and volunteered in some wonderful and crazy ways, from flying to Afghanistan by myself to helping install a bathroom at a football field! But before we talk about why we serve, let’s take a little multiple choice quiz.
I volunteer because:
a) My spouse/roommate volunteers for me
b) There is a desperate need and I feel guilty
c) There are some cool people involved and I would like to be friends with them
d) I feel God has given me a passion for this particular need
e) I am bored and need something to do
f) All of the above
If we answered honestly, I think most of us would pick “all of the above.” Motives vary from season to season. When we were parents of young children, my husband Ron and I worked for years in the childcare area at church because there was a need. Did we hear a clarion call from Heaven? Probably not. But we did hear crying and laughing children who needed someone to look after them; as part of that spiritual family we stepped up. My goal as I write this blog is not to dissect all of our motives for why we serve. Rather, I would like to look at three reasons for us to consider as we evaluate this area of our lives.
Matthew 20:28 says, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve.” In Luke 22:27, Jesus says “I am among you as the one who serves.”
As followers of Jesus, we are to fundamentally have our minds and hearts positioned to serve.
Of course we know that, but can we say serving is a daily focus? The big ways of serving are often more clear than the small. We want to give our lives to share the Gospel, to transform Waco or to turn the tide of human trafficking, but do we help someone who is struggling with opening a door, yield our parking space to another in the parking lot of HEB or pay for a a friend’s meal at Jason’s Deli?
Jesus commands us in Luke 8:18 to, “Take care how you listen.” As our Good Shepherd, He goes before us and we follow Him because we “know His voice” (John 10:4).
Do you know the voice of the Holy Spirit lives inside you and is constantly speaking affirmation, comfort and direction?
As believers, we are on a journey to hear His voice more clearly until we reach Heaven. We won’t ever do it perfectly but it is a worthy lifelong pursuit. This sense of hearing the Holy Spirit is crucial to how and where we serve. The Father puts gifts and passions in each of us and He is delighted when we ask for and listen to His thoughts on how He wants us to use them!
Finally, I would submit that a crucial element of serving is wrapped up in the word “legacy.” Young or old, married or single, male or female, rich or poor, we are all leaving a legacy. What will be passed down to your family and friends because of the choices you make, the life you live and the way you serve? In our household, volunteering and serving is a way of life. This mindset was given to both Ron and me by our parents and hopefully, we have instilled that in our now-grown children. So, as you consider if you will serve, why you serve and the attitude you embrace while serving, consider the legacy you are passing along to future generations.
Be excited today! The Father has let us be His hands and feet in the earth. Focus, listen and leave a legacy that declares the love and power of Jesus.
How do you serve?
Is God prompting you to serve in a new way?
What is the legacy you are passing along to future generations?