Today I’m excited about the opportunity we have to talk about service – service to our Lord and Savior, the one who demonstrated it to us. We are going to walk through some things, some scripture that teaches about what is service and how do we serve in different places, so I am excited to dive into this.
The first thing is to understand the importance of service. As we look at students and youth who come into our ministries, really in order for them to move along and not just be on the outside but to be a part of our student ministry, it begins with attendance. As scripture talks about in Hebrews, we need to consider how to stir one another up and how not to neglect the meeting together. The next part is for us to connect. These students have got to connect with other students and with leaders, but the most important way to move them from that attendance and connection is service, for them to find a place to serve, to find a place to use their gifts and abilities to serve the Lord in his church.
So I am excited to look kind of look at that and understand first, what is service? What does it look like? Service is pretty much just using God’s talents and abilities that He’s given us in order to build up each other, build up the church and to ultimately glorify Christ. One scripture I want to read that really to me identifies with service is 1 Peter 4:10-11 which says, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever.” (ESV)
We see in this scripture Peter was challenging the people there. He really wanted them to understand that we need to take those gifts, those abilities, those talents, those spiritual gifts that God has given us and use them to build up each other.
So we understand what is service, but why serve? Why is it important for us to serve? I think there are two reasons. The first is to follow Jesus’ example. Jesus himself served. In Mathew 20:28, Jesus said, “… the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus demonstrated service. Jesus lived a life of service and He did all He could to serve those around Him.
One of the greatest examples Jesus gave us was at the Last Supper. At the last meal He was going to have with His disciples, Jesus took His outer garment off and He wrapped a towel around His waist and He washed their feet. As He washed their feet He demonstrated to them what it means to serve. But as He followed that up, Jesus challenged His disciples and He gave a command. As He finished that talk, as He finished washing their feet, Jesus continued and said this, “When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, ‘Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet’” (John 13:12-14, ESV). Jesus not only demonstrated what service was, but he commanded His disciples to wash each other’s feet and for us to serve.
So we know what service is and we know why we should serve. The last thing is how do we serve? There are so many different ways for us to serve. Jesus told His disciples, What you’ve done to the least of these you have done unto me. So it’s important for us to find ways to serve.