Duty or Delight?
Earlier this week I was approached by one of our Church members and informed of a family from our community who had fallen on some very difficult times. One of the family members has a critically serious health issue and when that news hit, the family was/is pretty devastated. During the conversation I was asked if I would visit them at the hospital and try to bring some comfort.Now, let me be honest here…I really don’t know this family. If I ran into them on the street I wouldn’t recognize them. They don’t attend the church I Pastor and don’t seem to be interested in doing so in the future.
Yet we served them.
Yesterday, another family who is walking through a storm right now needed assistance. They were hungry. They’d just moved in from out of state (by necessity, not choice). They are struggling. Again, not church members. And again, I’ve never met them. Truth be told, they may move back away soon and we may never hear from them again.
Yet we served them.
For the past few weeks, a couple who aren’t believers have been coming into our church for marriage counseling. They seem to have no interest in Christianity. Visiting our church isn’t on their radar. Their marriage is just broken and they want help. We don’t charge for counseling (and NEVER will). Our sessions are time consuming and pull resources. Do they even appreciate the church and it’s efforts toward restoring their broken marriage? Not sure. I do know that we’ve not gotten a simple “Thanks” yet…and that may never take place.
Yet we serve them.
You may say to these true and recent examples of service- “Of course we serve them. It’s our duty.” I see it another way.
Serving is our delight. It’s our privilege.
You see, our view of serving…. of ministry, becomes skewed when we see our service as a mere duty. When ministry becomes nothing more than a legalistic checklist of daily task we are missing the point. We miss the sheer joy, the wonderful fulfillment, and quiet contentment that accompanies our faithful service. Seeing our ministry as “duty” alone leads to burnout, passionless, even militant believers. Ministry becomes something we “have” to do rather than something we enjoy the privilege of doing. Whether Pastoring, Leading a small group, Sunday School class, Mentoring, driving a bus, worship leadership, VBS volunteer or so on….if you’ll grasp the concept of using your gifts, talents and resources in delightful service to The King rather than a mundane duty, your passion for service will be refreshed. We don’t have too. We GET TOO! Understanding that will make all the difference in the world.
What a delight it is to serve Jesus!
(On a related note – #2springsVBS Leaders…we’re on day 3 today! Halfway there! I know we’re getting tired. I know some our the kids are getting “hard to manage”. I know we seem to keep picking up more kids as the week goes and our responsibilities have increased because of it – but I also know that it’s our privilege so serve this week. Let’s delight in the act that God has chosen us for such a time as this to advance the Gospel as we eternally impact the hearts and lives of the “least of these”! You’re all rocking it out! Keep it up!) Soli Deo Gloria! – Pastor Kyle Caudell