How to Not Let Your Serving Become Stale
My son recently started leading worship at a new Sunday afternoon service we are doing in a different area and it is a fun and exciting thing for him to do. However I was very aware from experience that before long he might find it getting stale and more of a grind than a privilege. So I warned him of that and talked to him about how to try and prevent it getting that way.
Then I also realised that anyone who serves (or does anything!) regularly in the same area has to be careful to prevent this happening, so I thought I would share what I told him plus a few extra thoughts. If you have more tips, please share in the comments!
Wherever you are, be all there
Jim Elliot said this, and the complete quote is even better:
‘Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.’
Whatever we do, whether it’s in church or washing dishes and emptying bins at home, as a Christian we should do our best because everything we do should be to glorify God (1 Cor 10:31). That means that Christians should be some of the best workers! So we need to really pay attention to what we are doing and do a good job – and that in itself will help us stay fresh.
Remember your calling
We need to continually remind ourselves of why we are there in the first place. When we wonder why we bother we need to remember God put us there. When we think we’re not good enough we should remember that it is God who equips us and strengthens us.
Have an eternal perspective
Everything in this world will eventually perish and only the eternal things will remain. So we should look at what we are doing for eternity – like discipling, or helping people in their faith and so on. Also ‘seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.’ (Matthew 6:33) I have found that whatever I might be worrying about, or that isn’t going so well, if I focus on seeking God and pleasing Him, the rest fades into insignificance.
‘Only one life ’twill soon be past.
Only what’s done for Christ will last’
Keep working toward the goal
Like everything we generally do things a lot better when we have a goal in mind. In the work place the goal is clearly to get an income, however with serving in the church most of us don’t get an income, and even if we do, that shouldn’t be our goal or we won’t be very good ministers of the gospel!
In Galatians 6:9 it says ‘Do not become weary in doing good, for in due time you will reap a harvest if you do not give up’. This is such an important verse in ministry as we can become discouraged and tired so easily – but we are promised that we will reap a harvest in time. For some people it wasn’t till they had passed away to heaven that the harvest really came.
Make sure that you are in God’s will
I have sometimes over committed, usually by being impulsive and helpful and not taking time to pray about something that is a regular occurrence. I now have a rule that before I commit to anything big I pray and make sure it is right. If you do over commit it is easy then to get tired, burnt out, and lose all your perspective. Sometimes too, you are in God’s will but you just need to take some time out to rest and be refreshed. Other times you might be in God’s will but not spending time with, and depending on, God.
Arm yourself for battle
When we are serving and ministering we are fighting a spiritual battle against the forces of evil so we need to arm ourselves or we are going to go under more easily! We can do this by doing our best to pray without ceasing, by taking time to be with God every day and learn from His Word and commit all that we do to Him, and by putting on the armour of God (Ephesians 6).
If you feel yourself getting stale in your serving and don’t feel fresh, try to take extra time and pray beforehand to ask for God’s help to make sure you are doing it in Christ’s strength and not your own.