In a search for prominent pastors who have written about serving God, I found six valuable messages I’d like to share. These respected Bible teachers each have a different perspective that together create a more detailed view of what it means to serve God.
John Piper, founder of desiringGod.org, in his article “What Does It Mean to Serve God,” tells us our focus on serving God should be in a way that “makes God look valuable and thrilling.” He makes the point that whatever we do, we are working with the strength that God provides; therefore, any service we provide is a joyous extension of our connection to Him.
Rick Warren, author of “The Purpose Driven Life” and founder of Saddleback Church, in his article titled “We Are Commanded to Serve God,” makes the point that a mature Christian will look for opportunities to serve rather than wait to be served. Jesus came to serve (Matthew 20:28) and He expects us to follow in his footsteps. Serving God by serving others is simply part of who we are as followers of Jesus Christ.
While each of these prominent pastors has a unique way of looking at service to God, they all agree it is a central focus of any Christian’s life. Every believer is given by God an opportunity to serve each and every day. It doesn’t matter who we are or what our current circumstance is; service to God is an essential component of our walk with the Lord.
Joyce Meyer, president of Joyce Meyer Ministries, in her article titled “Serving God by Serving Others,” focuses on the need to serve without expectation. If you are serving others in hopes of receiving a reward of some kind, your heart is in the wrong place. When we serve others expecting nothing in return – that is when we are truly serving God.
The late Billy Graham, America’s best known evangelist, often answered questions on his website. A widower asked Graham how she can be of service when she has no talent, or much money to give, and her health is failing. His answer was brief and to the point. He let her know that absolutely anyone can serve God. At a minimum, we all have the ability to encourage others, offer emotional support, and prayer. God can use you right where you are.
Charles Stanley, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia and the founder and president of In Touch Ministries, addresses the issue of serving God in his article “Serving with Joy.” Dr. Stanley teaches us that we glorify God when we willingly and joyfully serve others. He goes on to ask us to consider how this world would change for the good if all followers of Jesus Christ truly lived their life with a servant’s heart.
Tony Evans, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, writes in his article “Serving while Suffering,” that God can use us during difficult times. Dr. Evans teaches that becoming self-absorbed when you’re suffering is self-defeating. His suggestion is to use your situation to help someone else and that is where you will find your connection to God. Even in difficult times, God will give you opportunities to serve – be careful not to allow your misery to block your view of a chance to minister to others.
All of these prominent pastors have spent years studying the Bible and have carefully considered the teaching therein. We have a great deal to learn from their faithful service to God. Never stop looking for opportunities to serve God seems to be the clear message delivered by this group. When we walk with Jesus we walk with the heart of a servant. Our servant’s spirit is the essence of the light we are called to shine on the world. We need to stay vigilant and keep our eyes open for the avenues of ministry God provides.