Painting Birds

Posted: January 13, 2012 in Church Leadership, Life & Times
Tags: , , ,

Serving is a discipline.  The other week, I really needed a project done by our worship leader and I knew it would demand a bunch of his time.  Unthinking, I asked “how can I help free you up?” Honestly, a part of me was hoping he would say “nothing, it’s a pretty light week” or something like that.  Afterall, we ask rhetorical questions all the time never thinking that someone will ACTUALLY take us up on it.  Instead, without hesitation he said “I need you to cut a huge bird out of masonite and paint it blue for me.”  Really? Of all the things!

That’s when my selfish thoughts set in:  “I’m the Lead Pastor of this church!” Paint a bird?  “Cant someone ELSE do it?”  I’m sure there’s a well-meaning volunteer who would love to do this.  I should be doing something else–anything else!  Isn’t this BELOW me?  Sometimes, there just isn’t time to get anyone else.  Sometimes, God calls you to serve–right then & there.  As I stood there by myself with sawdust and paint on my clothes, I thought,  “There HAS to be a better way for me to spend my time.”  What was I thinking?

John 13:1-5 (NIV) 1 It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.
2 The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus.
3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;
4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.
5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

Sadly, it isn’t the first time I’ve allowed those thoughts to creep in.  For years, I worked at a church that met in a school. We would routinely arrive hours before service to set up chairs, move furniture, get all the rooms ready, etc.  Again, I remember thinking “I’m  a PASTOR!  I went to Bible college for THIS?”  That’s when the words of this passage ring the loudest.  What was I thinking?

Jesus was the Lead Servant of all.  He took off his cloak and washed his disciples’ feet. It’s how he SHOWED them the full extent of his love.  I am called to be a servant. I am called to suppress the feelings of selfishness that encroach on my spirit.  Service is how Jesus showed love.  Serving (in any capacity) is my opportunity to communicate love.  It comes in all kinds of different forms. Sometimes it means visiting people in the hospital.  Sometimes it means setting up chairs.  Sometimes it means pouring yourself into others you know will not reciprocate.  Sometimes it means leading someone into an adventure with Christ.  Sometimes it means painting birds.

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