Cultural Sensitivity, Gender Sensitivity, Spiritual Sensitivity and the list goes on dowsing you in the sea of sensitivity you’re expected to espouse. I thought I would toss another stone in the ocean with my own serve-centric sensitivity. Maybe one day serve-centric will be a word.
What is it? During a sensitive moments I came across the following verse in Matthew 20: 25-28
“But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. “It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave ; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.””
Jesus presents service to others as a key character trait. He contends leadership is demonstrated in service to the point of giving your life. I believe this ideology presents an eternal paradigm shift. In other words, “lording over” seems to be the fall back paradigm, thus creating an eternal shift to leadership as a servant.
I don’t know that I have truly seen this mastered in the way Jesus described. I have had some goods hours, days, or maybe even a good week, but a life of serving anyone in the locale, everyday, seems rather fleeting for mere mortals.
In conjunction, with this recent eye opening expose of servant leadership, I was preparing for a mission trip. I communicated this passage to our team and challenged with the following: What if we spent our entire trip looking to out-serve everyone around us. Literally to fight for the opportunity to serve before anyone asks. We made a commitment to have high serve-centric sensitivity.
DID IT WORK?
It made a difference. In past trips we would make duty lists and remind team members if not once, but maybe twice or more. I can’t remember one time where I had to plead for service. Of course, one of the reasons for the lack of pleading was I was ready to out-serve, but the reality is they were busy out-serving each other.
Was it a euphoric paradise perfect in all ways? Not exactly, but it was a great demonstration of what a group can do if they really strive to live the character of Christ.
Was it easy? Believe it or not the answer is both yes and no. Doing what is right even when it is difficult does not come easily. It is a choice. It is a demonstration of the will to do what is right. Anyone can say, “I will serve you.” It just takes a pulse and a voice to communicate. To actually take the steps, get up, take the time, give effort, and serve, is a choice of the will.
If you are like me it is much easier to be served than to serve. If napkins are needed at the table, it is easier to ask someone else to get them for me. Something needs picked up or the dishwasher is full of clean dishes to unload. Someone will get it.
What if a family decided, “I am going to do everything in my power to out-serve you.” Can you imagine?
What if a team of employees, a church, a community made the commitment to turn up serve-centric sensitivity and out serve each other?
DOORMAT WORTHY PEOPLE
My first thought is if I really become a servant I will be a slave and even worse a doormat. How does becoming a door mat compare to the example of Christ? He literally died a terrible death to serve us at our greatest need. So far, I have not been in that situation. I bet you haven’t either.
What I have found is that it is just the opposite. The really great outcome is you feel great. Could you be used? Yes. However, the blessing and favor that come from serving will long outweigh any ill effects. Save those truths for another time.
Have you had some opportunities to serve, taken them, and what have been the outcomes?
What are some areas of your life that need the paradigm shift to serve-centric sensitivity?