Today I have a guest post from Ben Reed. He is the small groups pastor at Grace Community Church. I have followed his blog for a while and he absolutely writes about the most cultural, innovative, and cutting edge topics. Check out his blog here and follow Ben on Twitter here. After reading this post, you will definitely want to check out his page.
A new look on serving
At our church, we recently finished what we called Operation Serve: School Edition. At this one-day event, we sent out nearly 900 volunteers to work on projects at each school in our county. You see, we currently have our worship services in 2 different high schools, and working to pull off Operation Serve: School Edition was a no-brainer. It was a chance for us to build relationships with the school system and with our city.
But here’s where we were a bit different than other churches.
We expected nothing in return.
We didn’t expect an increase in attendance that next Sunday. We didn’t hand out tracts to the people we were working with or working for. We didn’t expect that these people we were helping would become tithers.
We simply served.
Because serving and loving others is who we are and what we do. Not because we have to. Or because that’s our strategy, and we have to accomplish our strategy. Because we have been redeemed, we long to redeem everything we see. Because we’ve been given grace, we long to extend it. Because we’ve been lavished with an unrelenting love, we long to show that to others. Not because we have to. But because of who we are.
And the moment that we “expect something in return,” our self-serving motives are smelled out. And the people we’re serving feel used, like they’re a pawn in our scheme to brainwash the world.
But something transformational can happen when you serve out of the heart that God has changed.
People with a self-serving agenda aren’t typically respected. Church people included.
Have you ever been served with strings attached?
Did that make you want to join in the organization?