A Good Example
I urge you to be a good example so that people who serve with you or see the way you serve, will emulate your good example and be encouraged by you: “He is very kind with people, even when people make mistakes”; “She is very reliable. When it is her turn to serve, she is punctual and ready.” “Although it is just a minor role, he will always do his best.” “I want to emulate his attitude in serving God.” May you serve God by building lives by being a good example: “You are the salt of the earth . . . You are the light of the world” (Matt 5:13).
I am often encouraged by people who persevere in serving the Lord, especially when that area of ministry has many difficulties. You do not give up. Instead, you think of ways to solve the problems and do your best. This is perseverance. “. . . stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Cor 15:58).
Imagine you are very thirsty. Then you see a watercooler and you are overjoyed. But when you press the button, no water comes out. You will say, “Unreliable!” When it is your turn to serve, be there in time and properly attired. Check the duty roster; check the weekly; if you cannot serve that day, get someone to replace you. If you are not reliable, you will disrupt God’s work and add to the burden of people who serve with you. If preparatory work is needed, be sure to prepare well. Raise your level of proficiency in your area of service by practice, practice, and practice. Just as we sometimes need to take extra courses to raise our proficiency at work, we should do the same for our ministry.
The Lord is more concerned about you as a person than what you can do. In other words, your Christian character matters more to the Lord than your Christian deeds. Hence, only people who have the new life of God can serve in church. Similarly, only Christians with a mature Christian character can be leaders and teachers. Not only must a teacher be well-trained in the Bible and theology, a teacher must be faithful in fellowship/cell group meetings and have a life-giving relationship with people, be faithful in prayer meetings and Sunday School, and be exemplary in Christian conduct to the children, teens and adults that you teach and lead. Teaching and leading is not communicating knowledge and skill; it is communicating spiritual life.
As you serve God in the new year, remember: the Lord is more concerned about your Christian character than your Christian deeds. Hence, a person who works hard to serve the Lord must also be a person who works hard to grow spiritually. Your goal in serving is not to perform a task but to bring spiritual life to people. Serving is all about spiritual life. The Lord bless you and your loved ones in the new year.