I was painting today. Not, like, recreationally where you paint flowers or landscapes or horses. I was painting the walls in our church lobby. You know how that goes, you spend a few hours on sermon prep, field a few phone calls, run some copies, and then paint the walls. It’s the life of a small church pastor. Sometimes, I’m tempted to get frustrated with it. It’s in those moments that I have to ask myself, Why have I come?
Jesus made a striking statement in regard to his ministry that I think will challenge our attitude towards constantly doing these little nagging jobs. He said, “The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve.” Jesus spent his entire three year ministry doing all kinds of things to help people who didn’t get it, get it. It didn’t really work until after his death and resurrection. In the same way, you may have to pour yourself out as a drink offering as you pray in desperation that people will get it and start following Jesus into meaningful service themselves. Rejoice! You’re in great company. God did not call you to this place to be served, exalted, praised, or put on a pedestal. He put you here to serve. Many of these jobs may not be big, but with God, they are always important and your witness and your integrity will give power to your preaching and ministry.
I shall finish painting my wall in the lobby. It will set visitors at ease, and bless my church family with a place of worship they can be comfortable in and proud of. Will I have to give myself in service to these people? Yup. And I consider it a great privilege to serve them and to follow in the footsteps of my Lord (knowing full well that painting walls and restocking toilet paper is not in the same universe as being crucified). I have come, not to be served, but to serve. And I’ll bet you have too. Good job, Pastor! Keep up the good work, the bold witness, and the meaningful ministry.