I’ve worked as a pharmacy manager for 5 years now, and my number one priority has always been service. Okay, well, safety is always our number one priority, so service is a close second. I try to keep up with medical literature, and I am hungry for any new information about healthy living I can share with my patients, but the one thing I am always checking my pulse on is service. I’ve enjoyed listening to great servants like Dan Cathy from Chic-Fil-A, or Danny Meyer from Union Square Hospitality Group, but it hasn’t been enough to sustain me in a demanding profession.
It was a very difficult industry for me at first. I am sure you’ve heard the phrase “the customer is always right,” and it’s 100% accurate. I am a proud person, and I don’t enjoy being wrong. After a few quarters of always being on the defensive, I was convinced I wasn’t going to survive in my profession very long. I had to frequently fix problems that I wasn’t responsible for, and often take the blame. It was exhausting. Before long, I was driving to work everyday preparing myself to be wrong, which became very depressing. Something was going to have to change. It turned out, it was me.
A couple of years ago my wife and I read the book of Mark together. I was taking a new job with even higher standards of service at this time (surprising, I know), so I was excited to be reminded of the life of Jesus. If you want to know what God is like, all you have to do is look at the life of Jesus. He is God! His compassion, grace, and mercy to us is inspiring and worthy of our worship. One of the most helpful passages during this transition is found in chapter 10, verses 41-45:
When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
It is a familiar text, but it must become more than familiar to us; it must become a part of us. As new creations in Christ, it is of great importance to remember what our new bodies were resurrected for, what we are to do. In this passage we can clearly see that one Christlike behavior is serving. Serve to the point where our life is demanded of us. Without God, this type of service isn’t possible. I have experienced it first hand. I tried to serve, and my well was just about dry. The Spirit used this passage to remind me that service is not from duty but from a new heart.
Look at what Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:17: ”Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” Paul is literally saying that something new is here. You are not simply cleaned off and put back in the world. No, the Resurrection has made you into something you’ve never been before, something you could never be on your own. You are restored into the royal priesthood of God, worshipping Him in all things, and reflecting the praise of all creation back to Him. To put it more simply, a new heart means new desires. Our worship does not come from a place of duty, it comes from a place of love – a place of joy. So, instead of serving others because I am “supposed to,” I serve because my soul longs to. It’s a radical transformation that is only made possible by the death and resurrection of Christ.
Believers, we have entered into death, so that the flesh may die (and all of the idols with it!) so that we may be born again and raised to life with Christ. We are finally able to live as we were designed to live; as worshippers of God. Serving others is one such way that we can worship our great God.
Serving others is no longer something I am supposed to do as a believer, it is something that my new heart beats to do. It is one way that I can worship God and prepare the way for His Kingdom to come. When I am weary I am able to look to Christ who also served, though he was a king. Serving has also become part of my ministry. By serving others, I can better demonstrate my love for the gospel and love for others.
I’d like to invite you to join me by starting to incorporate service routines into your life. We have numerous opportunities to serve right here at Redemption Church, and we could use a lot of different skills. Whether it is making disciples in Redemption Kids, running the sound booth, or greeting with Hospitality, there are ample ways you can bless others. The elders, deacons, and I also pray to see such service flow outside of our church walls and into the community of Augusta. We need people with a heart and vision for the city to find opportunities that our members can serve in. Lastly, we can serve globally by funding, and praying for our global missionaries. I pray that the Spirit may lead you into this vocational change, and that you may find joy by serving others.