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The Real Meaning of Service

I shared from the book "Church Re-imagined" a few days ago on the topic of our physicality. There is another chapter on the book about service that I found very inspiring too.
From the beginning, life with God has been about service...

Service isn't how we act out our spirituality; it's how our spirituality gets shaped. And as such, it's not reserved for the elite of the faith... We were encaptured by this call not as a way to live out our faith but as a means into our faith. As part of our spiritual formation we wanted to answer that call and be useful religious people... The world needs people who are living religiously useful lives in and for the world... Living in the way of Jesus is not a result of a deeper devotion to the things of Jesus; it is what develops in us that deeper devotion.

Service is an obvious way for us to orient our lives around both a belief in Jesus and our efforts to live in the Kingdom of God and never separate the two or put them against each other.

To say that we are a missional community is to say that we are not the end users of the gospel... Rather, we receive these so that we may be equipped and sent into the world to love our neighbours and serve "the least of these."

It's tempting to see service primarily as a way for the well-resourced to reach out to others. But that perspective makes service a kind of condescension - drops of mercy bestowed upon the "needy" by those who are "blessed" - rather than an outgrowth of our desire to work toward making things on earth as they are in heaven.

Our yearning to be a people who love and bless the world means we understand that service extends beyond our threshold; we seek to care for those outside our immediate community with the same compassion... This way of living isn't an outgrowth of faith but rather the essential means to our spiritual formation.

The gospel commands us to love our neighbours, not to be market-driven... We try not to see our church as a means of meeting needs in order to convince people that the gospel is attractive. Our role in the world should not be limited to teaching about God or filling the felt needs of an ever-desiring culture; instead we should love God and our neighbours without having ulterior motives for either of them.

The best way to be a good neighbour... was not to do formal outreach. We concentrated on being friendly... During the course of the year we met people from the neighbourhood, and many joined us in all kinds of Kingdom of God efforts, so it wasn't exactly a stagnant year for our ministry - but it was also healing for us not to have to create a series of programs to justify our presence... people seem to be glad to have us as neighbours as we are to be there.

...we helped staff a neighbourhood festival, regularly walked around the nearby lake to pick up garbage, and ran an afternoon story time for children during the summer.

Is this how you define your service for God?


  • 正如林一峰話齋,閱讀,也是一種 state of mind。
  • 所以不限文字,還有聲音影像一切雜崩能東西,都在涉獵反思消化乾坤大挪移之列。
  • 看重的只有一個字:Insight


I work at Westside Baptist Church. Of course, that doesn't mean they agree with everything I post or link here. Everything here is my personal opinion and is not read or approved in advance. Consider yourself warned.