Last Friday, I was honored to co-host a celebration in honor of the volunteers of the church. Our local church has approximately 1 100 members and 700 attended the party. The staff decorated, cooked, and served the volunteers, and later on, we did a 45 minutes show, making complete fools of ourselves. There’s nothing better than watching leaders step out of their formal positions and letting their hair down. The absolute best part was when our pastor did Huge Grant’s dancing scene from Love Actually. Hollywood won’t be calling any time soon, but we had a blast!
Finally, we honored 4 of the volunteers who have served faithfully over the years, presenting them with an original work of art, as well as well-deserved praise and acknowledgment.
And it hit me: Most people don’t know who they are.
Most of the people present had no idea of the countless hours these champions had put in, the sacrifices they had made, and the silent service they had provided to the church body.
As we stood to our feet, clapping, cheering them forward, I was moved to tears by the humble attitude of these people. None of them came prepared. No-one knew what to say. They never considered their service to be anything but ordinary. And yet, without them our church would have been poorer. Colder. Bleaker. They are the ones who make this fellowship a home to many.
There is no salary involved. No prestige. Limited influence. Inconvenient hours. These people are not in it for the glory.
I wonder if they represent a countercurrent to mainstream Christianity?
There is a growing sense of entitlement in the body of Christ. So many expect to be served, claiming that it is their birthright as royal heirs, as princes and princesses, sons and daughters of the living King.
Discovering one’s divine identity is a revelation to many and I am truly happy for them. Seeing yourself through the eyes of the Father is important and life-changing. You are, indeed, an heir. Royalty. Chosen. Beloved.
But if you don’t understand grace, you’ve missed out.
On your identity, on your assignment, on everything.
Do not miss out. There’s too much at stake.
You have been set free to set others free. You are no longer in bondage. Nor should anyone else be.
Much has been given to you. Pass it on.
You have been forgiven. Show mercy.
You are an heir to the Servant King. Watch him. Imitate. Be Christ-like.
People don’t exist to serve you. You live to serve them. By serving your neighbor you are serving your heavenly Father. There is no greater honor.
Love unconditionally. No, they don’t have to deserve your friendship or your service. After all, none of us ever did. Jesus still loved us, even when we were sinners.
Serve when no-one’s watching. Out of the spotlights. Out of the headlines. Don’t ever allow yourself to do anything in order to get something in return.
Give secretly. Generously. Gracefully.
Stack chairs. Do dishes. Pick up trash. Serving is not beneath you.
Work. Use your natural and acquired skills to bless others. Hold yourself to a higher standard. Make sure that you deliver quality even when you could have gotten away with less.
Hang in there. Even when it’s challenging or boring. When you would like to do something else. When you don’t feel appreciated. Ask yourself, who am I doing this for? If the answer is anyone else but Jesus, re-think. Repent. Then go at it again.
You see, this life is a season.
At one point in eternity, we will stand before our Heavenly Father and he will say,
Well done, good and faithful servant… Enter into the joy of your Lord.
Matthew 25:23, NKJV
It will be the party of laid down, poured out, extravagantly lavished lives, all surrendered at the feet of Jesus.
For I know your power and presence shines on all your lovers.
Your glory always hovers over all who bow low before you.
Psalm 85:9, TPT