“I joined this church because I could see that these people don’t just say they care about others; they actually get out there and get their hands dirty to serve others.”
These words are music to my ears. We are a church that values service—walking the walk, not just talking the talk. We believe that our lives are to be lived for the benefit of others, not just ourselves. We look to Jesus, our exemplar of servant leadership; he didn’t simply encourage his followers to serve one another—he demonstrated for them! Jesus knelt down on the floor and washed their feet, putting humble service on display.
In that scene in the Gospel of John, Jesus ties a towel around his waist and uses the towel in the work of washing and drying those dusty, road-weary feet. The towel gets dirty in order to make the feet clean. Perhaps we are like that towel—Jesus puts us to use, and we get dirty, or smelly, or just worn out, in order to make someone else’s life better, to show them—not just with words, but with action—that Jesus loves them.
Here’s the easiest part to miss when we serve: we come with needs, too. Those of us who have the wealth to provide ample food and repair our homes often lack the deep connections that grow from relying on others, or the trust that God will provide what we need. These, and others, are gifts we can receive from those we tend to think have little to offer.
At our best, we enter into service with a humble sense of mutuality, believing that those we serve have just as much to offer as we do. Then, together we find God in our midst—the best gift of all.
As you read this, I am in Kentucky with a group of 26 High School youth and adults from FUMC, loving and serving the community of Magoffin County, Kentucky. Sure enough, our lives are being transformed just as much as the homes we are repairing. We covet your prayers as we continue this work, and as God continues to work on us.
There are abundant opportunities to serve others through FUMC this summer—you can find a list of those here: fumcaustin.org/summer. I hope you’ll find your own way to serve, joining in God’s work of transformation and finding yourself transformed in the process.
With great love,