In most church contexts, there is never a shortage of opportunity for members to serve. Whether by stacking chairs after a Sunday service, being involved in a worship team, or volunteering in the children’s ministry, service is a large component of many people’s life in the body of Christ. Indeed, service in the church is very important, because it is the means by which most churches are able to operate effectively.

            However, if we aren’t careful, service can become an end in itself rather than a means toward something far more important. Perhaps you have been involved in church cultures where you were expected to be volunteering in every possible way, every day of the week, and the people who volunteered the most, the hardest, and for the longest amount of time were considered role models of spiritual maturity and were considered the most ‘godly’ people in the church. In contexts like these, service itself can quickly become a mark of holiness and a means by which we seek to earn favour with God.

            The question we have to ask ourselves is—why do we serve? Do we serve because God needs something from us that we can offer to him? Do we serve because it proves to God that we are committed Christians worthy of eternal life? No—the reason we serve is because God first served us.

            Jesus himself spoke of this reality in Mark 10:45. He said, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Think about this—when you come to a church service on Sunday, who is serving whom? Are you serving God, or is God serving you? Perhaps you’ve been taught that our primary purpose on a Sunday is to serve God by offering praises to Him. While that is a wonderful sentiment, the reality is that God does not have need of anything, and certainly nothing that we could ever hope to offer in our sin, weakness, and frailty. In reality, God took the initiative. He sent His Son to give his life as a ransom for many and gives us all the blessings we could ever need for all eternity. We come to Church first to be built up by the God who first served us. Then, in turn, we seek to serve Him and serve others out of gratitude for His great service to us and out of a desire to love our brothers and sisters well.

            And so, let us serve diligently out of love for God and love of neighbour, but let us never fail to remember that our service doesn’t earn any favour with God, doesn’t make us more holy, and certainly doesn’t provide God with something He doesn’t already have. We serve out of the outflow of a heart that has first been served by our great Saviour who came to this earth not to be served, but to serve.

All the best,


Prepare your heart for Sunday by reading the passage and listening to the songs we’ll sing.