We are called to serve, but we can only serve out of abundance, not lack. An empty vessel has nothing to pour. Leaders who don’t understand they need fuel to thrive or how they provide value cannot serve well.
How can you serve?
Start with what you’re good at.
Sometimes we think service must look like ministering to people who are homeless, hungry, or otherwise distressed. And it absolutely can and should. But that doesn’t mean that’s the only way to serve.
What are your talents? Cooking? Knitting? Painting? Speaking? Calculating? Building? All of those are avenues for service.
Are you good at less tangible things, like reassuring, validating, and comforting? Everyone needs encouragement, a listening ear, a means of self-expression. Filling those needs for people is service.
Consider Jesus, the ultimate servant leader. Jesus fed hungry multitudes with miraculous wonder, but He also cried with mourning friends. Both actions, one miraculous, and the other mundane, exemplify service.
To serve others, leaders must
- Practice self-care – sleep, hydration, nutrition, and prayer are great starting points.
- Discover their unique service design – diving into what you’re good at is a great place to begin.
- Recognize service opportunities when they present themselves – service doesn’t always look like salvation (whether your goal is to save people from their circumstances or save them from their sin).
- Act – do the things God placed you on the planet to do.
Leaders don’t serve for the sake of receiving recognition or accolades; they serve for the sake of others.