Serving vs. Servanthood

I’m part of a team at my church that sends short term teams to New Orleans to aid in the recovery effort. We send a team at least once a month, and this summer we are aiming to send at least 12 teams. I’m responsible for the re-entry meetings we do with each team. The function of the re-entry meeting is to help people deal with what they saw and how to communicate that to people. It’s also to get the people who went to think about what’s next for them.

If we send 500 people to New Orleans and they do a good job there, but never serve anyone ever again, it’s really a wasted effort, I’d almost prefer that they never went. I never want anyone to come back and say “I have now fulfilled my missions responsibility”. And I’m not just talking about programs or activities within the walls of the church. Our calling as Christians is to serve the broken and impoverished, they are not often right there in front of us in the pews.

I recently found this quote by Richard Foster that I’m going to really start emphasizing:

“We must see the difference between choosing to serve (an activity) and choosing to be a servant (a lifestyle). When we choose to serve, we are still in charge. . . when we choose to be a servant, we give up the right to be in charge. . . we become available and vunerable.”

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