Someone said, “You know you are a servant when people treat you like one.”
A pastor invited me to speak at his church. It was the only Sunday I had free, was tired, but agreed to do it as he needed to be away. I cancelled an outing on Saturday to study and was able to arrange care for Dad so Margaret could accompany me.
We were up at 5 am Sunday morning to catch a ferry, driving two hours, and after a quick breakfast we arrived at the church early. As we waited for the service to start, we introduced ourselves to several including leaders.
Interesting: no one offered coffee, water, or information as to the order/schedule of the service, when to start or finish, nor any help with the lapel microphone. Even though the people were friendly, there was no hospitality. After the service, even though we had been on the road since early morning, there was no offer of water or lunch.
The most humbling (and embarrassing) thing, however, was when the church treasurer approached me as we were leaving and handed me an envelope. I thanked him and said no honorarium was required. He responded, “Oh, don’t worry, it is not much as we don’t pay circuit (traveling) preachers much.” He was correct; it was not much at all, as it did not begin to cover the cost of the ferry, gas, breakfast and lunch.
This is not, however, to point out the lack of basic hospitality or financial responsibility of the church, but simply to say that this experience was good for me! Even though I gave up two days to serve this church, as a servant of Christ I was only doing my duty!
Whatever experiences and responsibilities Christ puts before us, we are to serve Him joyfully as servants unto Him and not to man!
“So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done’” (Luke 17:10, nasb).