What does this look like?
A Servant is defined as ‘A person who performs duties for others and is a devoted and helpful follower or supporter.’
- Is under submission to another
- Serves others by fulfilling their needs
- Surrenders their will and rights
- Has no agenda or hidden motive other than to do the will of their master
- Does not seek praise, recognition or validation from people as they understand their reward comes from God
Why is this important?
In Christ, we are all called to serve Him and others in every aspect of our lives irrespective of our position or title (1 Corinthians 4:1-2, Ephesians 2:10, 2 Corinthians 4:5). Being a servant of Christ is less about what you do and more about your desire to put other’s needs before your own. Every single gift that God gives us (natural talents or spiritual gifts), is never for ourselves but rather for others and for His Glory. For example, the gift of teaching and exhortation (Romans 12:6-8) is not given to someone to teach or exhort themselves but rather it is to share the knowledge they have and to encourage others in their life.
Serving is important as we are honouring God and presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice to Him (Romans 12:1-2). The greatest gift you can give God is your heart and a fully surrendered life. Where we are visibly bearing fruit in our walk with God, that is evident without us even opening our mouths (Galatians 5:22-23). In Ephesians 6:5-8 and Colossians 3:22 it is made clear that as believers we should be faithful to our masters (employers and those in leadership) with a sincere heart as though we are serving God rather than man and in this, the Lord will get the Glory (Matthew 5:13-16).
Furthermore, our love for God is reflected in our love for others which can be done in many ways, including serving one another (1 John 4:20-21, Galatians 5:13, 1 Peter 4:10). Also, serving allows you to grow spiritually and build your character in humility, patience, obedience and kindness.
Although serving is a blessing, it is important to remember that it is not done to please people, to get validation neither is it for us to desire to be seen by man. A true servant knows their identity in Christ and responds to serving God and others in obedience to God and in love for others. Therefore, I’d encourage you to examine your motives and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal your heart’s intentions when serving others.
Nowadays, many desire the position of leadership and few want to serve but rather to be served. Though there is nothing wrong with being a leader, true leadership is servanthood. A leader recognises their need to serve their followers as well as teaching them to serve others, the best example of such character is Jesus.
Philippians 2:5-8 are profound verses, that reflect the attributes of Christ when He was on earth. He emptied Himself, took the form of a servant and humbled Himself in obedience even to the point of death! This did not mean that He was weak on earth or less of a person, Jesus knew His authority and position as a leader however, His passion and motive was love and service towards the people He was yet to die for.
Jesus has set the perfect example for us, His followers to also walk in (John 13:15-16), it is not impossible. Engstrom wrote: ‘His kind of service set an example, thus He showed His followers how to serve and He demanded no less to those who carry His work on earth. Jesus teaches all leaders for all time that greatness is not found in rank or position but in service. He makes it clear that true leadership is grounded in love which must issue in service.
As you walk with God, there is a level of selflessness that is required and you begin to realise that it is less about your own needs, rather the needs of others. The Lord once revealed to me, ‘as you begin to grow in deeper intimacy with Him, the things that dwell in Him will begin to dwell in you.’ When we keep God the centre of our lives we begin to look more like Christ and develop His characteristics. You can truly have the heart of a servant with the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit and your level of willingness.
Practical ways you can serve
- Invest in other people’s ideas and visions by giving your time, energy and/or money, promoting their ideas (Philippians 2:3)
- Voluntary work to help homeless people or children
- Help in church or in other ministries
- Help your family by cooking, cleaning, helping your siblings with homework
- Volunteering at church (1 Peter 4:10-11)
- Encouraging others through your words or sending them a text (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
- Buying a colleague lunch
- Support a ministry financially
- Commit a day in the week to pray and fast for your church or another ministry
This post is to firstly, encourage those who are already faithfully serving God and others, God sees you and in due time He will exalt you (Galatians 6:9, Matthew 23:12, James 4:10, Hebrews 6:10). Tip: don’t stop walking in humility and love for others even when God exalts you. Secondly, it is to challenge us all as the body of Christ to remember that we are all first and foremost ambassadors of Christ. The word ambassador means a representative therefore, we are to reflect the qualities and lifestyle of Christ, here on earth. Finally, remember that ministry is all about serving others, regardless of who you are and how many gifts and talents you have, we are all part of one body and serve different purposes (1 Corinthians 12-26).
You can study more about servanthood in your own time, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you through scripture and to transform you from the inside out. There are some scriptures below
1 Peter 1:12
My prayer is that one day, we will all hear the Lord say ‘well done my good and faithful servant’
God bless you all for taking the time to read this