by Leigh Ann Dilley on September 08, 2021
This weekend we will celebrate all the volunteers of Timberline Church and what all they do for us. None of the ministries at Timberline could function effectively without the help of volunteers. In this respect, it is easy to see how important service work is.
It is our goal at Timberline to find everyone a place to serve because service work is important, not just to make things happen, but it changes the heart. Have you considered the other benefits of service work? Why is it such a big deal?
Research shows service work has mental and physical health benefits. To serve others, you must take the focus off of yourself and your problems and focus your attention onto others. Therefore, service can lower blood pressure, reduce depression, and strengthen relationships. All of these things have long term affects on your health and your life.
As we try to become more like Christ, we must consider what Jesus taught his disciples in Matthew 20:20-28 to be different than the rulers and high officials. Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave - Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many. In Matthew 23:11 The greatest among you will be your servant.
And in Luke 22 when the disciples were arguing among themselves which one was the greatest, Jesus tells them: In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people. . . but among you it will be different. . .The greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. Jesus acknowledges: ”For I am among you as one who serves.”
Jesus lived his purpose by being a servant. Where does service fit into the plan God has for your purpose?
The long and the short of service seems to be: We need you! Others need you! We can’t do it without you! Jesus set this example because we can’t do it without Him! Service seems to be a way to say you care enough for someone to invest in them. Have you ever been in a position when you needed something (time, money, care, attention) that you could not have gotten on your own? Do you remember what it was like to be “seen” by another? Think of the good Samaritan, whose schedule was postponed and who gave his own money and risked a reputation to care for someone very different from himself. Think about the medical people who cared for you after a surgery when you were too weak to care for yourself.
Service looks like many things. You can serve another in a structured way, knowing the time commitment, what is expected, and when and where you serve. If you love spontaneity, you can make or allow some margin in your day for interruptions to serve others; the person who needs help with a flat tire, cooking a meal for a neighbor who has become ill, or paying a bill for someone who is out of work or in a desperate situation. The orphans and widows and those seeking justice need people to serve them on their behalf. The sick and lonely and the lost need people who are willing to serve them just as they are.
Service is a gift; but the hidden gem is what it brings back to you in return.