Why is it that serving someone can have such a powerful impact on the one being served? What is it about serving people that touches the heart, and what can you do to have a such a powerful impact on those you serve?
When you serve with love, the Lord uses that very act of service to minister directly to the soul, both yours and the one you are serving. Choosing to mentored by a servant, while absorbing everything you can find on servanthood will cause growth, but the power of a servanthood only comes from investing time with the Father. The natural fruit of that relationship will impact the lives of everyone you serve exponentially.
Why is it that Serving People that has Such a Powerful Impact?
Man is naturally selfish. Serving others is absolutely contrary to the nature of man. Think about it, do children naturally share their toys with their siblings or hoard them to themselves? As a parent of two children, I can tell you that they do not share their toys with each other, and I’m sure your kids don’t either. Why? Because by nature, children are self-centered. Selflessness is something that is learned. You are not born self-less, you are born self-centered.
Only after one has learned to embrace an other-centered mindset birthed our of love for person you are serving, will door to the heart of that individual fling open for the Holy Spirit to minister to. This is a Kingdom principle. When you express the love of the Father, it is going to have a positive affect. Like water being poured on fire changes the physical conditions, expressing the Father’s love while serving, has a spiritual impact on the one being served. A lot more could be said on this, but just know that the act of service carried out as expression of the Father’s love, is the cause of the powerful impact, not you. Again, it’s not about you, but rather about embracing an other-centered way of thinking.
Before getting to the tangible things that you can implement right now in order to have maximum impact on those you serve, we need to address to address one very important pre-requisite. You motive for serving.
Make Sure Your Motives are Right
In order to have maximum impact, never serve in the hope of getting something back in return. That is not serving. That is called selfish ambition. Dont’ deceive yourself, that way of thinking is all about you, not others. If you are completely honest with yourself, and find that you hope that your act of service will return anything, stop serving. You act of serving is just that, an act.
Selfish ambition creeps in like an actor overplaying their role to draw attention to themselves. The very moment selfish ambition plays a role in your act of service, is the moment when the Holy Spirit exits stage right. He does not play games or compromise. You either serve Him, or you serve yourself.
Serving Without Love Does not Help, and in Fact, May Have a Negative Impact
If you can’t serve with love for the person you are serving, don’t serve.
As I am sure you are aware, Paul wrote the following:
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.1 Corinthians 13:1–3 (ESV):
If one does not serve with love, they may come across as obnoxious as a gong or clanging cymbal, and their “service” has no value. In fact, they may even become an annoyance to the one they are “serving”.
That annoyance may not be evident immediately, but the memory of the fake service can have lasting damage. Have you ever met someone who said, “I don’t attend church because those people were such hypocrites”? In the same way, one who does not serve from a heart of love is viewed as a hypocrite, and they will see right through you. You wont’ fool anyone, especially the Father.
What follows in this article are tangible things you can implement today that will help you develop a servant mindset, so that you too, can pave a highway for the Holy Spirit to minister to soul on the ones you serve.
Spend Time with the Father Every Day
Just before Jesus started his public ministry, he spent 40 days in the desert fasting. He spent every moment with the Father, gleaning, cherishing, developing intimacy. Communion with the Father was refined there. Note that it was after he spent this time with the Father that he said, “the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing.” (John 5:19 – ESV). There is much I could say about this passage alone, but the point is that you require intimacy with the Father to be an effective servant.
If you want to be a better servant, spend more time with the Father. Take a look at John the Baptist. I always wondered why Jesus said of him, “Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he”. – Matthew 11:11 (ESV).
As a young believer, I used to think, “Really, what did John the Baptist ever aspire to? He’s the guy who at locusts and honey. All he did was dunk people in water.” What was it that differentiated John the Baptist from others? He died to self as evidenced by his lifestyle in order to be intimate with the Father.
Investing time with the Father is like a farmer who plants seed in rich soil. It receives all the nutrients, water and sunlight from the Father in order to produce a bountiful harvest. The more intimate you become with the Father, the more effective your acts of service will have on those you serve.
Find a True Servant to Mentor You
Servants serve. They don’t lead. When called upon to lead, they are not comfortable. Servants prefer to serve behind the scenes. So, when looking for a mentor, that is where you will find a genuine servant. The mentor you are looking for may be a High School janitor, or one who works in a soup kitchen to feed the homeless.
Don’t look up the ministry ladder to find a Servant Mentor. Look down. Reach out to the person who is always looking for people to serve, one who genuinely serves others. One who doesn’t talk about serving, but actually does it . . . all the time, without being asked.
Hang out with them, and serve with them. You don’t need to make a big deal about it, or even ask them, “Will you be my mentor?” They will probably feel very uncomfortable if you were to approach them with such a question. However, if you do as I am suggesting, you will learn so much from them as you serve together. Mind you, you won’t necessarily gain nuggets of wisdom from them. The Holy Spirit is the “nugget giver”. He will teach you all you need to know, as you serve alongside them.
Absorb Everything You Can on Servanthood
One of the big take-aways from the book, “As a Man Thinketh”, by James Allen, is that you become what you think about. If your goal is to become servant-minded, you will go to great lengths to absorb everything that encourages that way of thinking. This includes reading every book you can get your hands on that deals with serving and servanthood, including autobiographies, business books and even novels. Watching movies that are servant oriented will also have a big impact on your thinking. Your objective is to learn all you can about the heart of a servant, and this quest never ends.
Note that I didn’t say, absorb everything you can on “Servant Leadership”. Servants don’t lead. They serve. Servants don’t aspire to become leaders. They aspire to serve more. They look for ways to serve that will have a greater impact on the individual they are serving.
Be honest with yourself. If you want to be a leader, then peruse that. There is nothing wrong with becoming a leader, but do not engage in false-humility by serving in the hope of finding yourself in the spotlight. A true servant does not look to be in the spotlight, but rather look for ways to give that honor to others. False humility is a stench in the nostrils of the Lord.
Find Someone to Serve . . . Every Day
To develop a servant mentality, you have to actually serve people . . . . every day. It is not enough to learn about serving by simply reading about it, or even being mentored by someone. You have to actually do it. Their are multiple reasons for putting this into practice.
As a kid, my Mom used to make home-made bread for our family. I remember her kneading the bread with a rolling pin, and massaging out all the air-pockets by hand. Similarly, every time you serve someone, that very act of service allows the Lord to knead servanthood into your way of thinking.
But integrity plays a role as well. You have to practice what you preach. James wrote, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only” – (James 1:22). Again, it’s not enough to know about serving, or to have been mentored by the humblest of all servants, or to have attended the greatest universities on servanthood. You are not a servant until you have served.
Only after you practice serving, only as you die to self while serving, will the real power of servanthood clothe you. Once you are clothed with the servanthood mentality, when you serve others, the Holy Spirit is then able to minister to the one you are serving in far more reaching ways that you ever could.
In order to think like a servant who will have maximum impact on the one they are serving, you must spend time with the Father. There are no shortcuts. There is no way around it. If you genuinely want to have the greatest impact on those you serve, you must invest your time with the Father. The more time you invest in your relationship with the Father, the greater impact you will have on those you serve.
I would encourage you to spend some time with him now. Ask him to bring a greater revelation of these truths to your heart. Repent if you need to. Now stand tall in God confidence knowing that when you do serve, you are serving the love of the Father to those he has entrusted you with.