Ever since God saved me, I have desired to serve him with my whole life. For the first several years of my Christian walk I had assumed (and was probably taught) that the highest possible manifestation of that desire was to climb through the ranks of leadership in the church.
The progression works something like this: lead a small service ministry as a stepping stone to leading a small group, which was a stepping stone to leading a larger group, which was a stepping stone to full-time ministry staff, which was a stepping stone to the most ultimate way to serve God: as a pastor in his church (Let’s leave the argument about how this ladder works for women aside for a bit.)
I quickly became frustrated that there was no clear-cut path to the top. My association does not hire pastors from Seminary, nor does it have a formal denominational ordination process. Aside from that, I knew that the Bible said that character, gifting, skill, effect, and time were the combination required to be a pastor/elder (1 Timothy 3), not a formal degree, education, or certificate from an academy.
I resigned myself to a hard, long road, and a job/career track “which isn’t my real vocation, I’m called ministry!” And experienced a very dry and dissatisfied season in life.
Does this ring a bell for you?
Over the last several years, God has been teaching me (through the writings of several pillars of the faith, not the least of which were Martin Luther and John Calvin, among other Puritan authors) that all of life is worship. Every task and moment is sacred for a Christian, an act of service to God’s Kingdom, and an act of Worship. In case it needs saying, the “leadership ladder” is a false construct, and a trap that steals the joy of many whose calling may be stacking chairs, vacuuming carpets, and running sound cables.
When I ran across “Servanthood as Worship” on a book table at the Desiring God Pastor’s conference, amidst piles of theology books, ministry books, church planting manuals, and saw a stack of chairs with the word “WORSHIP” across the front, I knew I had something special.
This book lays a solid foundation for joyful service in the light of the Gospel for those “stuck” at the “first rung on the ladder” I described above. It shows how this type of service in the church is vital to the health, unity, growth, and functioning of the church, and is a manifestation of the Gospel in our life.
I’m looking forward to a followup that describes some more practical applications, but this book is a wonderful start to helping show a joy-filled, right heart about “lower” forms of service in the church.
Well done, Nate. Looking forward to more.
Check out the Servanthood as Worship Site for more info and to connect with the author.