Why We Serve

One of the neat things about the staff dynamic at Fellowship is the desire for the staff to continue to grow together. As a result, once a month our staff engages in a discussion around a book that the staff is reading together. This quarter, the book we've been reading is "He Has Made Me Glad" by Ben Patterson. It's a book about the importance of choosing to be joyful - something commanded by Scripture.

Early in the book, Patterson writes of his own experience, "One year I didn't want to go back to work after my vacation. I was burdened with the problems of the church and depressed over struggles in my family. But I gritted my teeth, pointed the car toward home and went back grimly determined to be obedient to God and do my job. This attitude continued for two weeks. Then one night in a prayer meeting the Lord spoke to me. The words were harsh, but the tone was tender. He said, "I don't need this from you, Ben. If you can't serve me joyfully, don't call it service. You dishonor me with your ingratitude. Change your attitude or get another job."

Right now, I'm overseeing a new opportunity at Fellowship in which each person at the church will be encouraged to read through the New Testament in a year. In addition to reading one chapter from the New Testament, we've invited almost 300 of our leaders to write a short devotional over one of those chapters. So, five days a week, each member will be encouraged to read a chapter from the New Testament as well as a devotional written by someone else in the church body. It's an exciting time.

As I began receiving responses from the leaders we invited to write, the contrast between responses was amazing. For some, the opportunity to serve was met with joy. They were excited about the opportunity to be used, and ecstatic about how God might use this opportunity to bring the church together for something incredible.

Others responded positively, but with the excitement of someone who had just been asked to scrub the public toilets before summer camp. "Yeah, I'll serve... if you can't find someone else."

I wonder how many of us cop that same "if you're going to twist my arm" mentality with God on a regular basis. How many of us enter our own ministries every day because we feel like we have to?

What would happen if we all realized that God could find someone else to do what He has called us to do? He could find someone else and equip them to do the job "better" than we could do it. But He didn't. He chose us. We get to serve the Creator of the universe. We should serve with gratitude and joy, or as Patterson said, get a different gig altogether.


Pecadillo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pecadillo said...

Hey Chris, I saw this and thought you'd like it.

Chris Freeland said...


Yeah, that was snapped at a baseball game. Sadly, he's a higher class representative than most sooner fans. But, when you have a mobile home for your mascot, you can't expect much.

chloeadele said...

When I first read that you were going to ask the entire congregation to read a chapter a day, I almost laughed. 'People are so busy, they'll never find time to do this.' But there's always time. You just have to choose this over that and BAM!, you're reading the bible everyday. I think this is an incredible idea.