Back in “the day,” a good part of my recreation involved doing something with sending some kind of ball across some kind of net, as in tennis or volleyball. What I quickly learned from those activities was that the person in charge of the serve most definitely had the advantage. It would be a lesson that I would come to see as having remarkable significance for Christian practice as well.
Simply put, in both realms of activity the person with the serve controls the dynamics of the experience. While we might see the server’s advantage more easily when it comes to tennis or volleyball, it doesn’t require a lot of imagination to understand the power of serve in discipleship as well. In both realms service enables us to be proactive. It allows us to set the terms of an engagement. It moves relationships in a particular direction and dictates the flow of events. Little wonder that Jesus explained his mission as one of service (Mark 10:45). In Jesus’ way of thinking there was no better means by which he might show faithfulness to God’s call in his life.
This note is an important one to sound as we move toward an emphasis on service in our church with this coming Sunday’s combined worship. On one hand, Sunday’s service will include the setting apart of a new group of Deacons for a special ministry of service, a process we call “Ordination.” On the other hand, Sunday will also provide opportunities for everyone to consider places in our church where service is needed for us to fulfill our mission, as our Vision 2020 Implementation unveils a new Ministry Guide. We should not allow this delightful confluence of events to go unnoticed; it clearly underscores the value our church places on service.
So, be prayerful about how you can connect with where God is leading our church into the good future He has for us to know. Understand that you have something you can offer to help us realize God’s mission. Recognize the immense spiritual power that is at your disposal and don’t hesitate to employ it in a way that enables us as God’s people better to advance Christ’s cause in our community and throughout the world.
In some recreational activities only the server has a chance to score points. I don’t know that it’s any different when it comes to what you do in church. Perhaps the only difference is that when everyone gets serious about service, we all win in the end, and most importantly, so does Jesus, which in itself ought to stir us to serve with our very best.
“Each one should use whatever gift he or she has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10).