A large measure of how much I respect a person is determined by like how much of a servant’s heart they have. Maybe because it’s something I need to work on and am encouraged by when I see it in others. But yeah, it says a lot to me. There are other important things, like genuineness, faith, and all that, but I don’t know, to me a lot of that other stuff is demonstrated through the servant’s heart.
There’s a big spectrum on this, but what impresses me most are those people who are always the first to do something that needs to be done. But it’s a lot more than that. It’s easy to “serve”. It’s a lot harder to do the dirty work, the stuff that is not fun, that doesn’t get recognition. You can always get someone to do something that’s fun. Or get them to do it if they have to. But, the people I admire are those that do the things that aren’t so fun, even when they don’t have to do it.
Conversely, there are people out there, and it’s not necessarily that they don’t serve, it’s more that they “serve” only when it’s fun or when they pretty much have to do it. But generally, they won’t be the ones to volunteer to do stuff that’s the real service, the hard stuff that’s not fun or anything.
I don’t know, again, maybe because it’s something I don’t have, when I see it, it really really impresses me for a long time. I think my friends are pretty good in this regard. Like, everyone knows John is a servant. I don’t think everyone knows how absurd it is. Like, just an example, he’ll sometimes get calls from someone making insane requests, like to take them to Sacramento at midnight. I’m exaggerating a little, but yeah, John will always do stuff like that. He’s just like that.
Dave’s like that also. Just, he has a strong sense of what needs to be done and he’ll do it. There’s one experience that sticks with me, not because it’s unique, but because it’s typical of him. So, summer of ’96 Dave comes to visit me in Houston and for whatever reason one night we’re at church, there’s something going on. And, near the end, the tables need to be cleaned and the trash taken out. So Dave, who’s a guest and doesn’t even go to the church, proceeds to do just that, cleaning the tables and taking out the trash, he’s the first guy to do it. Side note. I’m pretty sure my mom made him water the plants also. But yeah, Dave might not remember that but I do. It’s typical Dave, I think. Watch him. He’s like that.
Henry’s a weird case because he’ll nearly always do everything that needs to be done but complain about it the whole time. Like, I dunno if everyone knows all the flyer and other layout stuff he did for the Christian community at Stanford but yeah, he did a lot. And, he does a lot for his church, just a lot of things that need to be done. And, he complains about all of it. But, he does it, and that’s the important thing. Most importantly, I think, when Henry says he’s gonna do something he does it until the bitter end. No flaking when it gets hard.
I don’t know, there’s a lot of people who stick out to me. Like, Charles Im. I don’t know, it was absurd to me the amount of stuff he had to do, and the stuff he’s done for people. He didn’t just do the “fun” service, because, I mean, honestly, worship team is pretty fun. But he did all the dirty stuff also. Like, for a long time, when the Korean evening service met in the sanctuary, he and George would wait until it finished to clean up the equipment. Just them. That’s a lot of work, and a lot of sacrifice, but I don’t think I ever heard them complain. Other absurd things also. I don’t know, it’s amazing to me. Because most people would just try to get out of it or get someone else to do it. Not them.
There are other people also that I notice and admire. Like Sarah Yi, who always moves the tables back in the classrooms after children’s group when no one else is doing it. Or like Darren Hom. I finally introduced myself to him on Sunday but I’ve wanted to meet him for a long time, because he amazes me. Like, he frequently helps clean up the worship team equipment after service even though he’s not on the team and even when other people are just screwing around. He was one of the guys to go through the aisles after Unto The King picking up random stuff. The dirty work.
Not sure why I’m writing all this. I think it’s because I guess I’ve been realizing how exceptional these people are. I don’t know, it’s just, it seems like there are lots of people who are willing to do the “fun” service, or stuff they have to do, and very few people who do the hard, dirty work.
I’ll give an example from a while ago. A couple years ago I went to KCPC Hallelujah Night. We had this one game, a bowling game, and after each roll, some people would have to reset the pins. Anyway, over the course of a night it was extremely exhausting. And I just remember, no one wanted to reset the pins. Like, some people would just wander away after a while. Some had to be asked to do it. Others had to be nearly forced But then they’d just eventually wander away, not even finding someone else to take their place, as if it would just take care of itself. They came there to “serve”, to do whatever was fun. But they wouldn’t do the hard work. There was just a single person there who set up the pins for a long long time – Pannyun. I haven’t exchanged a word with her since that night, but I still remember. I was very impressed.
Anyway, other people were doing other things and I don’t blame them or anything. But, yeah, it was sad; no one wanted to do the hard stuff, and even when they were commissioned into it, some of them would just leave! Just wander away! It was stunning. But yeah, it’s hard to find a person who’s willing to do the hard work.
For some reason I guess I feel like I’ve been seeing that at church more and more. Just, the true servants are harder to find. There are still a lot of them around, and I don’t think I could name them all. But there are also a lot of people who “serve” in just the easy ways, and are reluctant to do the hard things. Very reluctant. But it’s the people who do the hard things that really build up the church.
So, I have a bold claim. I think when churches/fellowships whatever aren’t doing well, maybe the biggest problem (outside of being a program-based structure) is that there are too many people who are willing to serve in just the easy ways, the ways that are fun, or that make you friends, or whatever, and not enough people who are willing to serve in the hard ways, the ones that aren’t so fun, that don’t get you immediate rewards, that maybe people don’t even see.
The “easy things” aren’t bad. They’re necessary and good, and people should be commended for doing those things. But, I think the hard things are closer to what the Bible means when it talks about serving each other in love, laying down our lives for our friends. It’s that kind of serving that truly builds up the church. So if you want to “fix” something, build up this attitude of servanthood.
Uh, is this too negative? I didn’t mean to be. I just wanted to point out something I admired in people I know and I think it’s something I should emulate. That’s it.
Is phony major! I learn nothing! Nothing!