Serving others is an indispensable part of making disciples because it shows folks we care about them, not just as projects we’re trying to convert and get to join us, but as people who are valued and valuable to God.
On the night before His death, Jesus served His disciples by washing their feet. Then He shared a meal with them that He said was to become a tradition. Since Jesus is our model, we need to look to Him for guidance on how to serve others. From His life and ministry, several principles emerge:
1) SEE a need
Jesus had the ability to see things other people missed; namely, needy people around Him. The first step in serving others is to see them and their needs
2) EVALUATE the situation
As Jesus encountered people and saw their needs, He evaluated their situation in terms of what they really needed and how He could help. When we see the needs of people, we should pause and consider: What is their real need? How can I help? What can I do to contribute to the solution?
Don’t just see a need, evaluate how you can help satisfy it, and then…
3) RESPOND appropriately
Needless to say, Jesus always did whatever was necessary to bring help and hope to people in need. He ate with outcasts, He healed the sick, He cast out demons, He forgave sinners. He did so at great risk to Himself – His reputation, His time, even His well being. In order to serve others you must be willing to free up your calendar. Invite friends to join in the effort and get ready to spread God’s love and life all across our community.
4) Add VALUE to their lives
Jesus didn’t just give people a handout that made them feel better temporarily. He served them in ways that provided a hand up to a better life and future.
5) ENTRUST them with the gospel
Several times in his New Testament letters, the Apostle Paul talks about entrusting people with the gospel. In a farewell speech he gave to Ephesians, Paul said, “And now I entrust you to God and the message of his grace that is able to build you up and give you an inheritance with all those he has set apart for himself.” (Acts 20:32 NLT). Paul knew he had done all he could do – he shared the Good News with them and now, knowing he may never see them again, he gave them over to the Lord’s care. We’d do well to keep this perspective in mind as we seek to serve others. Our interaction with them is limited
and temporal so we entrust them to God’s care by praying for them (now and on an ongoing basis).
Serving Others: It’s one way that we become Life-Givers who bring God’s love and life to our community and world.
Whoever wants to become first among you must serve the rest of you like a slave. In the same
way, the Son of Man did not come to be served. He came to serve others and to give his life as
a ransom for many people. (Matthew 20:27-28 NCV)
God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to serve each other, passing on
to others God’s many kinds of blessings. (1 Peter 4:10 TLB)