Serving ≠ Servant
By Kyle Rohane
In the early 17th century, pretty much everyone thought the earth was the center of the universe. It seemed obvious—the sun rose in the morning and set in the evening, and at night, the moon and stars seemed to spin across the sky. Besides, educated people thought, we’re pretty important, so it makes sense that everything else in the universe would revolve around us.
Then, Galileo Galilei discovered that the earth actually revolved around the sun. The earth wasn’t the center of the universe at all! It just looked that way from our perspective. But when he published his findings, the authorities weren’t happy. They refused to believe that the earth wasn’t the center of the universe, so they locked Galileo under house arrest, where he eventually died.
Confused about Service
How could people be so confused about something that seems so obvious to us? The truth is, we’re in a similar situation when it comes to service. Most people think service is all about them. Even when they do things to help other people, it’s really to help themselves. They pick up trash on the beach so they’ll get their picture in the paper. They serve in a soup kitchen so they can boost their college resume. They fly halfway around the world on a mission trip so they can post pictures of themselves on social media. It’s as if needs, injustices, and hurting people only exist to revolve around the real center of the universe: us.
But the Bible displays a completely different perspective. Like Galileo explaining that the earth actually revolves around the sun, Scripture reveals that service is actually centered on something much bigger than us. It revolves around Christ!
“Help students transform from people who serve into committed servants like Christ.”
From Serving to Servant
If you earned your medical degree, worked for years as an intern and a resident, and started working at a hospital, you wouldn’t think of yourself as someone who, from time to time, treats patients. You’re a doctor! Even when you’re on vacation, you have an obligation to help out if you see someone collapse in the street or get sick on a plane. Just because you aren’t in the office doesn’t mean you are no longer in doctor-mode.
Why do we think service is different? Students go on mission trips and service projects hoping to do some good, but the minute they get home, they feel like they’re off the clock. But people’s needs don’t stop just because we feel like we’ve done enough service for one week. We need to help students stop thinking of service as a once-in-a-while kind of thing and start seeing themselves as servants—always on the lookout for those who need our help.
That’s why we at LeaderTreks have published I Am a Servant. It is a four-week, interactive journal for students, packed with Bible studies, hard questions, challenges, and more to help students transform from people who serve into committed servants like Christ. Or, if you’re looking for something a little more in-depth, check out our new DNow retreat curriculum, Project Serve.
About the Author
The LeaderTreks Blog is proud to share the hard-earned wisdom of student ministry leaders from many different backgrounds and professions. From time to time, we will feature guest blog posts from writers other than our regular contributors. We include these posts to provide additional perspectives and insight that we’re sure will help develop you and your ministry […]