How you answer one question will determine the success and failure in your ministry leadership. Answer it incorrectly, and you will be ineffective and unfulfilled. Answer it correctly, and you will be effective and fulfilled.
Here is the question…
WHO ARE YOU SERVING?
You have two choices.
Choice #1 is people.
This is a posture of leadership that is serving horizontally. We turn ourselves towards people and serve them.
In ministry leadership, many often say, “I serve students” or “I serve my church” or “I serve families.”
But what happens when we serve people is that those same people often don’t understand or appreciate our service. In fact, when we serve people, they never really fully see the effort we put into serving them.
In my years of ministry leadership, I spent about half of my years serving in this posture. Working primarily with students, I saw myself serving them and their families.
But when students and their families didn’t understand why or what I was doing for them, this led to feeling a sense of loss and disappointment. Ultimately they could never fully appreciate how I was serving because they weren’t meant to.
Choice #2 is God.
This is a posture of leadership that is serving vertically. We turn ourselves towards God and serve Him.
In ministry leadership, we should NOT say, “I serve students” or “I serve my church” or “I serve families” but rather “I serve God.”
Unlike humans, God sees all. He knows our hearts and our actions.
What happens when we serve God instead of people is that while people often don’t understand or appreciate our service, God always does. God always sees the effort we put into serving Him, and He always welcomes it.
In my years of ministry leadership, I spent about the last half of my years serving in this posture. Instead of seeing myself serving students and their families, I realized I was serving God on behalf of students and their families.
This may sound like semantics, but it is not. It is truly a game-changer as a leader in ministry. When I switched my posture from serving people to serving God on behalf of people, it freed me from the expectations of people that are often uninformed and unappreciated. My outlook on ministry doesn’t go up and down with the approval or disapproval of people. It remains steady because God is always the same and He always loves when I serve Him wholeheartedly.
Love the Lord your God and serve Him only,
Geoff Eckart, CEO
Never The Same
P.S. In case you missed it, here’s the podcast discussion on this topic
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