I’ve spent my whole life in the church. My Dad was a youth volunteer at our church, so I spent every Saturday and Sunday there. Serving was something that I felt was just expected of me. I volunteered with the preschool ministry and various church events during the week. However, I never really knew why Jesus calls us, as His followers, to serve others. It wasn’t until I became involved with some youth ministries again in college that I began to see the importance of service.
To understand why service is important for us as believers, I think we need to look at what God’s view on service is. And what better way than to look at how Jesus lived while He was here on earth. Jesus came here to serve us. The whole purpose of Him coming to earth in human form was to die for all of our sins.
Philippians 2 says:
5 In your relationships with one another,
have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God
did not consider equality with God
something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
This is the ultimate form of service.
He laid down His life for us. How awesome is this?
Mark 10:45 reads, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” How then, as followers of Christ, should we serve others? In saying that Jesus did not come to be served, this shows what our mindset should be! He wasn’t in the mindset of coming here to be served as Mark says; even though He deserves to be served more than anyone or anything. But instead, He came here to serve. I think for us, serving is more of a mindset than just action. It’s humbling yourself before God and others; putting others’ lives and needs before your own. This definitely does not come naturally; it’s more natural for us to put our own needs first and to serve ourselves. Therefore, we have to actively choose to serve others every day.
On Wednesday, September 21st, we had our service night for Impact. We went to West Park Christian Church, just 5 minutes from campus. Each Wednesday, they pick up a ton of kids from the neighborhood and bring them back to the church to feed them and show them the love of Jesus. I am a social work major, and I am currently completing an internship at an elementary school near West Park Christian Church. Going into the service night, I was hoping to see some of the kids I work with. And God awed me completely. I saw a lot of kids that I see each day in my internship. Because of this, I was able to form stronger relationships with some of the kids I work with every day. At a school you can’t exactly talk about Jesus with the students. But, God had this all planned out: that I would intern at a school that serves the same community as the church that Impact partners with. He provided a way that I can share Him with them. Now, when they see Miss Meaghan at school, they can ask me more things about who God is. And I am so incredibly humbled to have an opportunity to show them that; that God would choose me to serve Him in that way.
Serving children in various ministries like West Park and E-Club at Horizon Central has taught me more in my life than anything else. It is so difficult to explain the genuineness of a child’s love; there aren’t enough words to describe it. If you’ve worked with kids, then you definitely know what I’m talking about. They just love you no matter what. They don’t care what you wear, if you have makeup on, what you look like, if you’re successful, nothing. They just want to love you, and be loved by you. This has shown me the closest thing to unconditional love besides God’s love for us.
Because of this, I have begun to see why serving others is important. I used to think I was doing others a favor by serving them (and of course we are helping others when we give our time and energy to serve them). However, God has actually taught me through serving kids. He’s taught me things like I need to humble myself daily. That I need to serve even when I don’t feel like it. That I need to be putting others’ needs before my own. God has shaped and continues to shape my character through this service, so that I become more like Him. God has used service to show me more of Him and to direct my steps to follow Him more closely.
Ultimately, serving others is serving Jesus. In Matthew 25: 35-40, Jesus says that whatever we do for others, we do for Him. In the end, serving others is all for God’s glory. Don’t be afraid to serve others in a way that’s new or makes you feel uncomfortable. God calls us to step out in faith and be obedient to Him. Remember why we are called to serve. Remember what Jesus did for you. Remember what He calls us to do. So go out; be bold; serve others.
God will teach you things you never thought you needed to learn.
Meaghan Couch, VP of Service, Impact Christian Fellowship at IUPUI