day 36

CULTURE OF SERVANTHOOD

So there I was just weeks ago, preparing to give a tag team sermon on a second fiddle mindset and serving others while ignoring the opportunity to serve right in front of my face. I was thrilled about tag team Sunday, because God’s given me a burning passion to build the church through service.

Then my husband got sick. Like, flu sick. Can’t-get-out-of-bed-for-days sick. The truth is that “in sickness and in health” is super cute when you first get married and get to care for your spouse for the first few times, but after nine years of marriage sometimes impatience sets in and each other’s sickness is more of an inconvenience than an opportunity. So I, in my irritation, gruffly said something like, “I’m sorry you’re sick. Let me know if you need anything,” and then shut the door and went to the living room to practice a sermon. On being second. On serving.

The really embarrassing thing is it took me two days to realize the Holy Spirit was elbowing me, telling me that service starts at home. How can he trust me to build his church through service if I’m not willing to serve at home? Happily serving once a week on Sunday mornings is easy to do, humanly speaking. Selflessly serving every second of every day — serving spouses and children and bosses — is impossible to do without humility from God.

Jesus didn’t just serve once and call it good. He served the blind and the deaf and the lame. He fed the hungry, raised the dead, and calmed the storm. He did it every day. Although He wasn’t married and had no children, His service started at home. He served his disciples, His closest confidants that spent every day with him, and their families. He healed Peter’s mother-in-law (Matthew 8:14-15) and washed His disciples’ feet (John 13:4-5). His greatest service was His sacrifice on the cross — but before He redeemed the church, He built the church culture through daily service and sacrifice.

I love the transparency of our C3 NYC pastors on social media. Pastors Josh and Georgie, for example, share stories about walking their kids to school or supporting each other as one travels. At a glance, these are seemingly small moments of life that we just assume is their responsibility as spouses and parents. But as a spouse and parent and child and employee, I can testify that I have a tendency to grow bitter in my service. Sometimes serving feels like an obligation instead an opportunity, an inconvenience instead of an honor. But seeing these snapshots of service from Pastors Josh and Georgie and many others encourages humility in me. And focusing on Jesus’ examples lets me know that when I serve, I’m in good company. The more I listen to the Spirit and keep my eyes fixed on positive examples of servitude, the more effective I’ll be in building the church.

— REBECCA EATON

C3 BrooklynComment