The Lord has really been dealing with me the last couple of weeks on the subject of “hidden servants”. You know who I’m talking about (or maybe you don’t, in which case, I urge you to read on). When you walk into a church service you will readily see the worship team and the preacher, teacher or evangelist giving the word. What you don’t see are the people who got there earlier than anyone else to set up the communion you will be taking later, or those who stay late to clean up after. Or what about those who offered up their time to drive a bus to pick up kids in the neighborhood, deliver meals from the soup kitchen, or who cleaned the church a couple of days prior to Sunday so it was nice and clean for your arrival. Then there’s the media team who tapes the service for the shut-ins, and the bookstore workers who stay after service and forego visiting with friends so you can purchase that day’s service on DVD. And what about those volunteers who watch your children that you just fed Mt. Dew and cookies to on the way to church because there was no time for dinner. What saddens me is that we often take these support roles for granted, if we even notice them at all. But God notices! He loves a humble servant and they are building up their treasures in heaven.
To be totally transparent for a minute, I want to share something I’m not very proud of. I served on the communion team where I was attending church. We were required to arrive 15 minutes early to pray together, in one accord, for the communion service and those who would be entering the building that day. As someone who may occasionally struggle to be on time, this seemed a small sacrifice for me. Especially on those days I had visitors going with me, and I had to get them seats, etc. before I went in for prayer. Inevitably, the leader would send out that group message request when the one who usually set up or tore down couldn’t make it … “Can anyone come in early and get the communion ready, or stay late and clean up?” I always waited… waited it out until someone else volunteered (reasoning with my flesh and conscious…. I do my part…I volunteer a lot. Somehow? That reasoning didn’t ease the conviction) I don’t know why I reacted that way to those requests? I’m usually all about jumping in and helping. But much to my embarrassment, not this time. But God will even take our failed moments and use them for something good.
When I started attending this new church that my fiancé Pastors, it made me pause and notice her. I noticed the woman who would have to excuse herself from any fun or enlightening post-service discussions being had, because she needed to go clean up after communion. I noticed she was there early every service to set up as well. I recalled what a sacrifice I thought that was in my previous role and this woman did this, by herself, every single week! I also noticed that we all likely just took that for granted. The Lord laid it on my heart heavily to tell her how much I appreciated what she did for us every week. And then? He laid it on my heart to write about it for others who are out there serving behind the scenes. Those who feel like because they aren’t on stage, or in the spotlight, their gift isn’t as good. In fact? That’s truly just the opposite. Don’t take my word for it. Let’s look at what the bible says.
When writing to the church in 1 Corinthians 12:22-26 we read an analogy of the human body in comparison to the church body: “In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.” Let’s think about this for a minute. Let’s compare your heart and your ring finger. Your ring finger is often adorned with jewelry that will draw attention to it as it sparkles and shines. But the truth is? You could cut off your ring finger and live. But what about the liver? The liver is hidden. It does it’s job that is a matter of life or death. To remove it, we would surely die. But it is never really thought about unless it fails. We just take for granted that our liver is going to function, every day, as designed. Those parts (servants) that are often hidden? Are in fact, very important to the survival of the church body.
I end today’s thoughts with this… take a moment to notice the hidden servants and thank them for what they do. And if you happen to be a hidden servant reading this? Know that your contribution is a vital one to the church body. Don’t ever let the devil whisper otherwise in your ear.
Because He Lives –