The following post is written by Ken Barnes, author of The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places: The Joy of Serving God in the Ordinary, available in paperback and e-book formats.
His lord said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
—Matthew 25:21a NKJV
As we approach 2015 I believe that the servants in His church are on the heart of the Father. God’s servant people have always been the force that turns the wheels of the church. I speak of the people who are most deserving of our recognition but seek it the least. They are God’s under-recognized remnant that glorifies the Father by serving His people. They may do this by cleaning pews or preaching in pulpits. It is not about a position but an attitude of heart. Whether they are followers or ones who are followed, they have one thing in common: they do what they do to glorify their Lord and not themselves.
A church without servants is like a carriage without a horse—its not going anywhere. They are like the salt in our food. We can’t see it, but we know when it is lacking. The apostle Paul once described in Ephesians 4:16 how the body of Christ is held together by every joint (or ligament). A ligament is not very visible, but without it the muscle becomes absolutely useless. You servants in the church that give of yourselves to help make others successful are the glue that holds things together.
It seems to me that there is one central test for all true servants of Christ, and that is being willing to do a great deal of the work and yet get little credit for its outcome. If you seem to find yourself in this situation a lot, listen to the following words.
In that great stage we call life, your curtain calls may be few and far between. And it may always seem like you get the understudy roll. But if you play your role for Him and His glory, not for what you can get but what you can give, don’t be surprised as you cross that great river in that final great encore, when you get a standing ovation from the audience of three, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, backed up in perfect harmony by the host of heaven. God has never missed one of your acts of selfless service and He never, ever forgets.
My dear servant friends, you must keep an eternal rather than a temporal perspective. Keep your eye on the prize. One day you will stand before the Lord Jesus and He will look into your eyes and say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” At that moment we will feel like Teresa of Avila when she said, “When Jesus plants that first kiss on the back of our necks, it will make a thousand life times of suffering seem like one night in a bad hotel.”
Remember, it’s not the height or even the breadth of your ministry that impresses God. It’s the depth of your love for Him that motivates you to serve that catches the eye of the Father. There is no greater calling than to be a servant of Christ.
It’s “role”, not “roll”.