Thursday, October 31, 2013

Now That's Service!

FairmontNext week Michelle and I are off again to our annual Pastor's Conference in Banff. It is always a restful and encouraging time and we both consider it a double blessing to be sent each year. We have to "suffer" by staying at the Banff Springs Hotel! For 3 of the supper time meals we all gather is a large room and are served delicious meals by the ever attentive staff. It is quite the production! First, the staff come bursting through the door carrying 5 or 6 covered trays (each tray has, I think, 5 or 6 plates of food on them) which they carefully set down on their serving tables... and then the staff grab the individual plates and distribute them to the masses and hungry pastors and spouses who are drooling while waiting at their tables. This process happens three separate times...for the appetizer, main course, and the dessert. Each step is carefully coordinated by the head waiter (he might be called the maitre d'.. but we're not sure) and, prior to that, the kitchen staff has managed to prepare the entire meal behind the scenes, prepping the food, organizing the special meals (for folks with allergies) and having each plate look....and taste like it was specially made for us. I'm hungry now.

At the heart of this whole experience is an attitude that has been drummed in to each member of the staff... that they are there to serve us. Frankly, for us pastors we get a little uncomfortable with all the fuss because, usually, we're the ones doing the serving. Real leadership is serving. That's what Jesus taught us. Each member of the hotel is, in fact, emulating Jesus when they serve us. They may not know it (yet), but they are! And each year we have our socks blessed off by the men and women who serve us. Many of them are young people working in Banff from around the country and around the globe. Many others of "lifers" who have made a career out of serving others. Regardless of their background or rank, their job is to serve.

Now, imagine for a minute if every church member decided to serve others each week? What would Sundays look like? What would the rest of the week look like? I'm pretty sure we'd have socks lying all over the place!

If you want to be great in God's kingdom, learn to be the servant of all.

PS. Bread plate is to the left. Water glass is to the right. Use utensils from the outside in. :)

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