A Primer for Servant Living

by GenerousChurch  |  October 6, 2015


“There is nothing more beautiful than someone who goes out of their way to make life beautiful for others.” ― Mandy Hale


There are beautiful life moments that happen around us all of the time. 

-       A doctor doesn’t charge a patient who can’t afford insurance. 

-       A new neighbor helps haul furniture as a family moves into town. 

-       Words of encouragement are spoken to a distraught friend. 

-       A prayer warrior stretches out on the floor to plead for the marriage of someone they hardly know. 

-       A gentleman helps an elderly widow unload her groceries. 

-       A wife takes a “backstage” position to help her husband achieve a goal. 

-       A child sells lemonade to raise money for clean water in Sudan.

These are the moments that make life beautiful and attractive.  These are the actions that make us smile on the inside.  They give us meaning in life and nudge us closer to the Father.  These small opportunities for service are often overlooked, but when they are recognized and acted upon, they typically turn out to be the hidden gems of life that we needed all along.

People rarely aspire to a life of servanthood.  We struggle to hold onto the idea that greatness in life is achieved through generous acts of service.  That idea slips through our hands like a wet bar of soap.  We hear Jesus espousing servanthood and although we grasp it for a moment, we are only one or two breaths away from it being on the floor again…while we pursue other ideas.

It’s hard to be a servant.  It’s hard to consistently aim lower rather than aiming higher.  But, if we are ever going to take up our crosses and let Jesus live through us, we are going to have to embrace a new way of life.  We are going to have to redefine success, scratch through old goals and re-determine the values that drive our daily motivations.  We are going to have to reorient ourselves to generous living.

In order to make this practical, let me give you two quick igniters that can spur you on toward a servant’s life:

1. Do what others aren’t willing to do.

Jesus picked up a towel and a basin when no one else was willing to take up the task.  He embraced people that no one else wanted to make eye contact with…including Zacchaeus and several unclean lepers.  He verbally forgave those that were draining the life out of Him.  He took the jobs that others weren’t willing to do.

We may never have a chance to verbally forgive our murderers, but each of us will have the chance to stay late and clean up or truly befriend that socially awkward outcast.  We each – on a regular basis – have a chance to do what others aren’t willing to do.  

2. Serve those who think differently than you.

We could picket doctors who perform abortions, or we could humble ourselves to serve them with the love of God (by the way, there’s a gulf between serving and enabling).  We could debate our neighbors who embrace a different religion or we could serve them to show them Christ’s character.  We could passively avoid people who don’t think like we wish they would or we could actively serve them and learn what shapes their thinking in the process.

Those two igniters will never go far if we don’t employ them.  But, what would life look like if we focused our greatest efforts on consistently holding this bar of soap?  What would life look like if we prioritized generous acts of service as our way of cleaning up and beautifying the world with God?    What gems would we unearth if we lived daily with a plan for imitating the servant-nature of God? 

Let’s plan to step daily into life’s most beautiful places.

To dig deeper into living as a generous servant, click on the resources below.

Serving Others
Servanthood sermon
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