Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Servant Savior

I had a really interesting and enlightening experience in church last Sunday. A Newcomer came up to me at the end of the service to tell me how much she had thoroughly enjoyed her time with us. She informed me that she had been raised Episcopalian, and had in fact attended an 8.30am service at the Episcopalian church before attending the 9.30am service at The Well. She further informed me that she was actively seeking and praying for a new church home. Probing, I asked what she had enjoyed most about the service. "It was a combination of everything" she replied. "There's no doubt in my mind that you are going to be big and make a significant impact!"

I responded to her that while I appreciated that sentiment, we were just here to serve and love our community, and that whomever God brought to The Well would not only be welcome, but would be loved and valued. She beamed an infectious smile at me and said, "I hope you never lose that attitude." While this little conversation warmed my heart, I must shamefully admit that I didn't always feel that way. There was a season in my life when I would have measured the success of church ministry based solely on numbers. Please don't misunderstand me to be saying that numbers are not important. After all, numbers represent people, and the more people we reach with the good news of the Gospel, the more effective we would be in our calling and purpose. My point is that previously, I wasn't necessarily interested in the individual stories and the impact God was having on the individual lives through our ministry. What a shame; to miss the beauty of the forest because you were focused on the trees. In this context, the trees would represent the pursuit of ministry, while the forest is the actual fruit in the lives of the people we reach

My shift in paradigm has brought me to the realization that I want my ministry to be symbolic of servanthood and humility. I want my ministry to be modelled after the ministry of Jesus. I want my ministry to be selfless yet passionate about helping people. I know, I know, "What does that look like?" I hear you ask. Well let's examine what the Scriptures have to say about that.

[Jesus] now showed [His disciples] the full extent of His love.... He got up from the meal, took off His outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around His waist. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around Him. (John 13: 1,4,5)

From these verses it is obvious that Jesus is the most active person at the table. He is not portrayed as the one who reclines and receives, but as the one who stands and gives. He still does. This is what I seek in my life. The desire and will to give without expectation of return. It is hard and often thankless, but it is oh, so rewarding when you put everything into its proper perspective. It is a privilege for me to serve as Lead Pastor at The Well. It is an honor for me to pour myself out like a drink offering for the people that call The Well their church home. Are you looking for a home? Do you need to find a place that will love and serve you unconditionally? Then come to The Well. It will be my privilege to serve you, just as we are continually served by our Servant Savior.