Re-post. I will never ever forget what we learned and experienced that weekend.
As the last weekend before Teens Conference 2012, the worship team hung out at Sanctuary, an agency downtown that helps the homeless, poor and hungry, where we really got to explore what servanthood means.
I remember hearing a bit of a sermon on the radio one morning how Christians almost have their own secret code to weird people out like repentance, servanthood, holy, among others. Most of us have been brought up with this terminology, and all these Sunday school answers, but what does all of it MEAN??? In plain english, how do these terms and concepts apply to our personal everyday lives?
Not that I just noticed this, it’s kind of occurred to me since we started practicing, but… this worship team doesn’t really need me. At all. Everyone is so versatile musically, everyone has incredible talent and a heart for God, and there are FOURTEEN of us. One less singer wouldn’t hurt. In fact, it would probably be easier… But the point is: I don’t need to be there. I’m not entitled to be a part of this team. God doesn’t need me or anyone to experience His presence or to lead an amazing time of worship. If God did it… that would be… unimaginable joy and it would be so much easier and much more efficient to lead people to him. But as my coaches have kind of been drilling into us since day 1:
GOD DOESN’T NEED YOU. HE CHOOSES TO USE YOU, BECAUSE HE LOVES YOU.
At first I was kind of all… alrighty then. But now that I’m almost at the end of this part of my journey, this particular segment of my life and how I’m developing spiritually in Christ (<- see how easy it is to get caught up in “Christian” lingo?), it makes sense. God is refining us, purifying us, burning away anything that weighs us down or slows us down, or just hinders as a whole in general. This can be related to parents disciplining a child, trying to reduce or remove a bad habit, or a certain behaviour.
God uses us to shape us and mould us into who he meant us to be. CERTAINLY NOT because he needs us to be there for Him. God holds us up, we never hold God up.
Another thing of servanthood:
Dying to one’s self.
Thinking of others as better than yourself, doing everything without grumbling or questioning/argument, resisting the temptations of your own selfish desires, and doing what God wants you to do instead.
We joked about this a lot, ’cause… well we’re just that kind of bunch 🙂 But in all seriousness, imagine all the problems that would be solved with this system of humility. Marriages, parent-children relationship, employer-employee relationships, all modelled after Christ’s humility and unconditional love, are bound for success, as described in Ephesians 6. Paul talks a lot about serving one another in that chapter, and you might think it’s silly to become “servant-like”, but we are slaves. No matter what. We’re either slaves of Christ, who are treated as family, and serve one another under one master, or we’re slaves of sin. And every time we sin, it is an act of worship to an idol, whatever shape or form it may be, like another person, a statue, another deity, money, sex, addictions, and other parasitical things.
We also got to have a very mild taste of what it’s like to be “powerless” at Sanctuary. First of all, we helped clean up the building, doing chores, sorting, tidying up, basically doing whatever we were told, which was, to my surprise some of the most fun I’ve ever had, and quite therapeutic in an odd sense. It really is the people you’re with that make all the difference 🙂
Secondly, we got to take a walk downtown in the shoes of someone running away from home, fending for themselves on the streets with very limited resources. It was tough, and really reminded me of how BLESSED I am to have shelter, food, a loving family, warmth, and other basic needs. It also made me realize that when we see people in tattered rags, or people who haven’t looked like they’ve showered in weeks, or people who look high and/or drunk, you CAN’T assume that this is the result of a poor life decision, as though what they’re going through is their fault and what they deserve. NO. While sometimes that is the case, other times they are not in this situation because of their own doing. Maybe they were abandoned or it made more sense to leave home, or whatever reason. But these people should not be looked down upon. Easier said than done with all these crooked teachings of society since birth, but, the stories of these people really make you think, and most of all ashamed for our petty, selfish, complaints about nothing, or about a luxury we take for granted every second of our lives, like fast food, grocery shopping, showering, or a bed.
All in all, servanthood: humility, let go of your pride, serve others because we are all the least of these.
Not really sure why I’m up at this hour especially when I’m losing an hour of sleep with DLST, but oh well.
Phillipians 2:1-18 pretty much sum up my entire day today…
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus, who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
LOOKING FORWARD TO TOMORROW!! Day before TC 😀 Bring it.