A few days ago I was blessed to be at a banquet for a particular Christian institution. The banquet existed to raise funds for this institution, and they did a wonderful job serving over 450 guests. At that banquet, I saw greatness on display.
As I was chatting away at my table, I noticed two servers in particular: a husband and wife who are friends of my wife and I. They were serving plates of delicious food to the various tables and cleaning up our dirty dishes after we had finished. What struck me about these two servers was not just that I knew them but rather what I knew about them. He is finishing up a PhD program. He was recently called as the senior pastor of a large church out East. He will be pastoring a church five times the size of the one I shepherd and will be helping to lead a seminary! Still, he and his wife were quietly serving tables being dressed like any of the other servers.
The words of the Lord Jesus came to me when I reflected on that scene: “But Jesus called them to Himself and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many’” (Matthew 20:25-28). Right before my eyes, the greatness that Jesus spoke of was displayed for me: followers of Jesus serving tables.
God calls different Christian people to serve in various roles. If all that soon-to-be pastor did was serve tables or even spent most of his time serving tables, he would not be serving well. The Bible describes most of a Pastor’s responsibilities as serving his people in knowing God’s Word well and ministering that Word to God’s people with much prayer. However, for a good pastor nothing is beneath them including serving tables when the need arises. So it is for all of us as followers of Christ. We do not exist to be served, but to serve and give. For Christians, this is greatness.