Are You a Servant?

Featuring Tom Kraeuter Posted on January 23, 2010

“If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all” (Mark 9:35).

Jesus told His followers: “...[T]he Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve” (Matthew 20:28). If we understand this statement, and if we understand that Jesus never embellished the truth, then it appears obvious that Jesus did not sit around while others waited on Him hand and foot. Certainly, there were times when He exercised His leadership. However, Jesus clearly could not have honestly made this statement about not coming to be served if he had consistently sat around like a potentate expecting others to jump at His every whim.

I imagine Jesus helped collect firewood for their cold evenings in the countryside. I picture Him offering to carry water. With His carpentry skills, He most likely repaired more than one door or chair in a home where He stayed.

What about you? Do you offer to help prepare the music sheets for Sunday? Do help stack the chairs or move the music stands and other equipment? Are the menial tasks of life beneath you? Are you really a servant?

Jesus summarized the servant attitude we should have when He shared these words: “Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? Would he not rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty’” (Luke 17:7 10).

Quite some time ago, I attended a large Christian conference. Toward the end of the conference there was an appreciation ceremony to honor those who had done such a marvelous job of taking care of all the details of the event. Especially honored were the husband and wife who had tirelessly spearheaded coordinating all of the volunteers necessary for the conference. Several people shared what a tremendous job this couple had done. Finally, when it was time for them to respond.  They stood. The wife said nothing and the husband said just four words: “It was our pleasure.” Then they sat down. There was not even a hint of, “Look at us. Didn’t we do a great job?” Their servant hearts shone through clearly.

In Matthew 25, Jesus told the parable of the talents. Toward the end of the story the master says to those who were faithful: “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:21, 23). This story was meant to parallel the kingdom of God. The ending represents the great last day when we meet the Lord face to face. It is my personal conviction that as long as we are part of His kingdom we will all hear those words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Please realize that it has very little to do with us, but everything to do with God’s faithfulness. However, when we hear those words, what will our reaction be? “Oh yeah, God, remember the time we were leading worship and four people gave their hearts to You while we played and sang?” At that point, who cares?!
When I look into my Savior’s eyes and He tells me, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” the only possible response will be to look at Him through tear-filled eyes and say, “Lord, thank You so much for the opportunity just to serve You!”

That should be our attitude here and now also. We’re really no one special, just unworthy servants doing our duty.

Let’s be really candid for a moment. I have ministered in churches of nearly every conceivable background and size all across North America. I have encountered churches where the worship “team” consisted of one person and other churches where the ministry included horns and a string section. I have seen hundreds, perhaps thousands, of very gifted musicians. However, I have not found nearly as many servants.

What about you? Are you comfortable and active serving others? Do you need to allow God to work in your heart an attitude that counts it a privilege to serve?