I have the privilege to serve alongside a multitude of volunteers on Sunday. At Mars Hill Ballard, we have four services each Sunday. Last week, someone asked me how many volunteers we have serve throughout the day. I sat down at the end of the day to walk through the names and faces of people who served this church. After walking through all four services, I came up with 121 names and/or faces, including so many whose names I don’t know, just their faces!) And I am sure that I missed the people who were serving from behind the scenes, unnoticed.
So what does Jesus think about of this? Do these people get cuts in the line to heaven? There was a moment when his disciples thought so. In Mark 9:33–37, Jesus’ disciples were having a heated conversation that probably sounded like a bunch of athletes filling out their MVP ballots, asking the question, “Who is the greatest among us?” All of the nominations were self-nominated. Needless to say, they weren’t eligible for the category “Most Humble.” Jesus asked what they were discussing, and the disciples fell silent. No comment. You can just imagine the tangible picture of conviction. Whatever you think that looks like, that had to be what was on the faces of the disciples.
Jesus has an intriguing, and quite frankly peculiar, response. He takes a child and places the kid in the midst of the disciples and essentially says, “You think that you are so important, but I tell you that this child is more than capable of receiving my appreciation.” The disciples’ pride was blinding them. Jesus wasn’t impressed by their capabilities, their résumés, their track records, their ambition or their accomplishments. Nor is he of yours.
What is Jesus appreciative of? When you respond to the grace given to you through Jesus and understanding that it is a free gift you use to serve his church, serve the hurting, love the lost, and worship God. Jesus appreciates that.
I can guarantee one thing that will have you cutting appreciation down at the knees: pride. This is what pride sounds like:
- “No one can do what I do, or as well as I do it.”
- “If I’m not there, then everything and everyone will fail.”
- “God sure is lucky to have me on his team.”
OK, so these are a little blatant and obvious. But have you ever found yourself longing for a thank you? A raise? A promotion? Those are the more subtle forms.
Each and every Sunday we have over 200 volunteers who serve at Mars Hill Ballard alone, a handful of whom serve all 14 hours for four services. To all the volunteers of Mars Hill, please allow me to say thank you. I am so appreciative of the time, energy, and talents that you give to your church. Jesus appreciates is the heart that serves out of gratitude. We have been given such a radical and free gift of grace, a gift that we don’t deserve and cannot earn on own.
If you serve your church, please feel free to accept the appreciation of your Savior. If you don’t serve, please feel free to start. Jesus loves it when we honor and serve his bride.