The next gift in our series is the gift of serving. I am going be a lil transparent here; this is the gift I operate from the least and the one I envy the most. I don’t know if it’s the gift itself I admire or all of the applause this gift gets. All the gifts serve but this gift serves service; very practical acts of hands-on help. Those who bestow this gift are frequently admired as hard workers and rightly so. This is the gift that keeps the Body of Christ moving. Where teachers, prophets, and encouragers’ build with their words, the server builds with their hands, literally.
Tuesdays are salon days in my little world. I work reception at a higher-end salon & spa once a week. The phone calls today were well-behaved for the most part. Around 11:30 I got a phone call from a beautiful young lady who also doubles as my daughter, Andee. “We’ve got a problem.” she begins. She had just left our home for the gas station one block away when she discovered a flat tire. Not knowing what miracles I could do within a 30 minute lunch period while dressed in my favorite black Capri’s, I began to think of friends we could call to help.
I called Ryan; a young man whom I knew who would be the most available, the most experienced, and someone who would also be the most willing. Sure enough, within 15 minutes he delays his lunch plans and arrives with another friend of ours, Scott. They came with an easy stride, tools, and that know how – can do – will do spirit. Additionally, Andee’s boyfriend shows up with a friend ready for the challenge. Thankfully we had more than enough help and I was pleasantly relieved that my favorite black Capri’s would be spared from lying on the unforgiving grimy pavement. Within five minutes the flat was off, the spare was on, and we had a few extra minutes to enjoy each others company before we all went our separate ways for the day.
There was one significant comment made that I later thought would best reinforce our understanding of this gift. As we parted with thanking our friends, I expressed what a delight it is to be apart of a church, a community we can count on to come to our aid. Our friend Scott replied, “Yeah, we get another chance to love.” If you knew our friend Scott you would heartily agree that you would be hard pressed to encounter a better server than him. He is all about the work and working hard. Hard work fulfills him but not just in a “job well done” kind of way. To him it’s love. I know for myself I have joy when my words or my prayers help someone to encounter God. Today, I saw the same satisfaction in Scott. His satisfaction was not in a job well done but rather that we encountered God today through a self-less and yet simple act of help.
People who are hard-wired for acts of service have this amazing built-in radar to see a practical need and an amazing zeal to go do something about it. When servers detect a need they will by-pass: reasoning the need, the personal cost, and the inconvenience. They simply bend to the task and do it. For them actions of love speak louder than words of love. I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t a server who didn’t coin the phrase, “git-r-done.”
They Don’t Know No
We love our servers and we have to be careful not to take advantage of their gift. A server has a hard time saying no to requests for help. If you asked a server what it was you needed to do about a clogged drain they wouldn’t just tell you they would also come over and do it for you. When they are immature in their gift they tend to be pushy and interfering. Not only do they enjoy helping they know they are good at it. This can also result in a tendency to neglect their family “to do list”.
Another challenge for the server is the ability to receive the help of others. Receiving helps makes them feel terribly awkward and it threatens their drive for perfection. However, it may be helpful for them to understand that by sharing their work they share the joy. You may also recognize servers by the meticulous order in which they keep things, freakishly high energy levels, and their stick-tuitiveness.
When there is manual work to be done these are the people you will want to recruit but be warned; they don’t make for the best project leaders. They are so eager to help that we can quickly position them to lead a project. However, because they can’t say no, it won’t be long before they become overwhelmed and eventually burnt out. The truth is they would much rather work on a project than lead it. They are a priceless support to those in management and holding leadership responsibilities. Most projects are a long term in nature and servers do best with the short-term assignments: the smaller picture.
Servers are wired with the greatest dexterity. They not only find their joy in fixing and building things, they can also be found enjoying artistic endeavors, cooking, gardening, etc. Joy-filled career choices for someone wired as a server would include: accountant, architect, beautician, cashier, child care worker, farmer, interior decorator, mathematician, mechanic, nurse, seamstress, and even a ship builder … ha, can’t say I’ve met one of those yet.
Love your servers; appreciation assures them their hard work makes an impact. If you find yourself wired, as a server be careful not to be too critical of others you don’t see helping. What they need most is learn from you so don’t give in and do it all, make room for them to do it with you. You are the “hands” of the Body of Christ and we can’t do the work of the Kingdom without you!
Next week: Wired like a Ferret