Thursday, May 19, 2011

Serving Twice

Due to the stress of finals week and high school graduations, we took a night in high school ministry to simply have fun together. "Fun" involved slip-n-slide kickball, numerous water balloons, and lots of laughter. The setup for a night of fun always takes far longer than the fun itself; like waiting in line for the rollercoasters in a theme park, there's a long lead-up to a brief period of enjoyment.

As I picked up tiny bits of water balloon residue from the sand volleyball court, I was deeply frustrated by the janitorial role. Soaked and tired, wet sand all over my hands, slowly picking up balloon fragments. This was nasty work. Was this really what I had signed up for when I chose ministry as a vocation? Then I remembered a phrase uttered by a college prof years ago: good leaders serve twice.

Leaders serve once in their calling and strengths and passions and vision. This is the leadership I signed up for--the vision-casting, the teaching and preaching, the brainstorming and dreaming, the praying for students, the life-giving conversations, even the messy counseling situations. I genuinely love my job and the tribe of youth ministry folks I get to interact with on a regular basis. Even on the hardest days, I just have to remember my calling and the lives being changed through Christ.

Leaders serve twice in their willingness to serve outside their "job description," strengths, and desires. I didn't feel called to pick up water balloon scraps, or carry muddy tarps around a field, or pick up the dog poop where our kickball second base should be located. There's little in those activities that I find enjoyable or fulfilling, but they've gotta get done, and I'm the one in charge. A few students and staff will help serve alongside me, but I'm leading them in the serving, not directing them to do the jobs I don't feel like doing.

In ministry, most of us didn't sign up for setting up the chairs, or throwing away students' half-drunk soda cans, or fixing blown tires on the church van, or any number of seemingly mundane and insignificant tasks. But we are called to serve, and true service means getting down and dirty. Jesus both preached magnificent sermons and washed people's dirty feet. I'm still learning how to serve twice, to have an attitude of grace instead of resentment for the dirty tasks of ministry.

1 comment:

  1. "But we are called to serve, and true service means getting down and dirty."

    I enjoyed reading your post Mayward. You reminded me that It is not about me; therefore I must decrease to allow God to increase. At times we can tend get into "self" a bit too much and lose sight about why and who we serve. Thanks for the inspiration.
    Carlo @