In the Diaconate, we are investing time to equip ourselves as servants and as leaders in God’s church. We are currently reading Francis Chan’s Letters to the Church, and this month’s chapter was called “Servants”.
Throughout the chapter, we are reminded of God’s word pertaining to servanthood, like in Matt 20:28 when Jesus tells His disciples “The Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Ironically, this was part of Jesus’ response to His disciples who were jockeying for position in the throne room of Heaven. Jesus teaches them that in God’s Kingdom, greatness is not a matter of power or authority, but rather godly success is evidenced by love and humility.
Francis then applies this attitude of servanthood to the church body, and he challenges the inclination to come to church to just be fed or ministered to, and then to leave. He reminds us of Paul’s urging in Phil 2:1-8, that we should follow Christ’s example in our relationships. Paul instructs us not to look to our own interests but each one of us should look to the interests of others. (italics mine) Francis goes further, following Paul’s teaching in Eph 4:15-16, he says that each part of the body, every member of the church, is essential in growing the church to maturity. Each part needs to serve God by serving one another in love. This is the path that pleases God and this is how He makes us a mature, productive church in His kingdom.
Perhaps you have thought about getting more involved in church, forming more relationships, but you are unsure of where you can help? Perhaps you were involved but have stepped away for a time? Is the Lord telling you that it is time to look again at the interests of others? The Diaconate welcomes your interest and your questions. We would love to come along side of you to help you find your place at Grace Redeemer. Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or to reach out to any of us individually. If you are hesitant to take this next step because you doubt your abilities, turn your eyes upon God who raises the dead to life! Surely, He is the One who calls each of us His handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Eph 2:10)
It’s been over 30 years since I gave my life to Christ, to gain His life sacrificed for me. In those many years, God has given me many opportunities to serve others, and truthfully, the majority of the time I did not believe myself capable of “doing the job” well. Whether it was cooking a meal, or organizing an event, or teaching Kid’s Club, or leading a Bible Study, or writing a card to someone, these acts of service were always bolstered by prayer (even writing this VOG). Every endeavor was an act of faith on my part, trusting that God would take my meager offerings and use them to bless others for His glory. So when Francis refers to 1 Cor 12:7, “Now to each one the manifestations of the Spirit is given for the common good”, I can respond with a resounding “Amen!” When we seek to love the family of God and we offer ourselves as His instruments, God will work through us! And in God’s economy, it is more blessed to give than to receive.
Gloria Huang serves on our Diaconate as a deaconess.