Neglected Ministry: Are We Serving Effectively?
Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. (Luke 16:10 NIV)
I got a wake-up call and heart check while studying God’s Word recently...
I was studying about serving the Lord effectively with the hopes of understanding what serving really means and consists of.
If we were brutally honest with ourselves, would we find that we are neglecting the most important ministries that God has blessed us with?
We seek intently to gain glamourous and well-seen “showboating ministries”, while other ministries - being a wife, a mother, a daughter, or a friend - are often neglected.
While I do believe that the more public ministries are necessary and effective, they are not for everyone, nor are they given to everyone.
We may pray, asking God to bless us with a more expansive ministry, but if we are overlooking ministries that we have already been entrusted to how can we be trusted with more?
How can we serve more effectively, then? When we arrive home and meet Jesus face-to-face, we all want to hear:
‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ (Matthew 25:21 NIV)
I think we, first, need to look at what serving is and what it is not.
The definition of serving is to “perform duties or services for (another person or an organization); minister to.
Therefore, serving is: sacrifice, unselfishness, availability and access for Gods use and purposes, and being aware of a need and filling it.
However, serving is not: a competition, a platform to show off, a performance, or for your own glory, purposes or motivations.
Serving effectively requires a change in our outlook and perspective. We need to look at serving as an honor, not a chore. It also requires that we remain connected to God by staying in God’s Word, praying, and laying at His feet in surrender. When we are in complete submission and surrender to God and His Will, God is fully able to work through us. Remember: we are the vessels of God; He is the captain.
But why is serving others so important to the Kingdom of God?
Rick Warren has said,
“The only way you can serve God is by serving other people.”
This proclamation is supported in God’s Word in Matthew 25:40. God’s glory and His love are exhibited through our serving.
There is no shortage of selfishness or selfish people trying to gain notoriety, but a loving, selfless, and self-sacrificing servant of God stands out like a beacon of light in the midst of the darkness.
Serving does not come naturally to us and that is why God is so evident in it. Serving goes against our flesh and what we may want; it is truly a sacrifice.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:1-2 NIV)
There are side effects of not serving effectively or serving with the wrong motives. These are not always evident to us, that is why staying in prayer and God’s Word are essential.
The most common side effects are likely burn out and feeling drained. Feelings like these should alert us to look closer at our serving and ministering.
A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. (Proverbs 11:25 NIV)
“God didn't add another day in your life because you need it. He gave it because someone out there needs you.” - Unknown