The other day someone asked me, “How do you display a servant’s heart in your ministry?” In the course of everyday ministry, I don’t take the time to think about inquiries like this. But it’s probably a good idea, since someone was interested in what I thought. I reflected on this during my morning run, and here’s what I came up with.
I think this characteristic is most visible when I’m present in someone’s life. For example, an early morning trip to the hospital to pray with someone before their surgery. Or sitting in a courtroom with someone who has to be present for a hearing. Being available for someone who stops by to talk, even though I’ve got a hundred other things to do. Calling on every raised hand at preschool chapel, when each wants to share details about their dog or cat.
Jesus became a servant by coming to be with us. I think most servant-hood looks like that, rather than just a task. Although it involves plenty of tasks, like the thousands of times I’ve set up or put away tables and chairs for worship, classes, and other events.
I think it’s a lot easier to identify a servant heart in someone else than it is to find it in your own life. Perhaps that’s because self-examination can easily reveal selfishness rather than sacrifice.