Session 3 – Servanthood Attitudes


~ In Love We Serve ~


In preparation for this week’s D-Group:
Memorize and Meditate on Philippians 2:2-9 & John 13:14-17

Attitudes count more than achievements.

Servanthood requires a mental shift and a change in our attitudes. God is always more interested in WHY we do something than in what we do.
First – Self-denial is the core of servanthood. The quality of self-forgetfulness is truly essential in developing a servanthood mentality. Real servants focus on others, not themselves. This is true humility: not thinking less of ourselves but thinking of ourselves less. When we stop focusing on our needs, we become aware of the needs around us. Unfortunately, a lot of our service today in our churches and societies are often self-serving. We serve to get others to like us, to be admired, or to achieve our own goals. That is manipulation, not ministry. All the time we are really thinking about ourselves and how noble and wonderful we are. Some even use service as a bargaining tool with God, “God, if I do this for you, you will do this for me.”
Real servants don’t try to use God for their purposes. They let God use them for His purposes. 
Second – Real servants think like stewards, not like owners.  They remember God owns it all. In the Bible, a steward was a servant entrusted to manage an estate. It is not his, it’s God. The one thing required of such servants is that they should be faithful to their master. How are you handling the resources God has entrusted to you?
Money has the greatest potential to replace God in your life. More people are sidetracked from serving by materialism than anything else. When Jesus is your Master, money serves you, but if money is your master, you become its slave. Wealth is certainly not a sin, but failing to use it for Gods glory is.  It is said there are two types of builders – Kingdom Builders vs Wealth Builders. Both are gifted at making a business grow, making deals or sales, and making a profit.  Wealth Builders continue to amass wealth for themselves no matter how much they make. Kingdom Builders change the rules of the game. They still try to make as much money as they can but they do it in order to give it away. They use the wealth to fund God’s church and its mission in the world.
Third – Real servants think about their own responsibilities, not what other servants are doing. They do not compare, criticise, or compete with other servants or ministries. They are too busy doing the work God has given them.  Competition between God’s servants is illogical for many reasons: we are all on the same team, our goal is to make God look good, not ourselves. We have been given different assignments, and we are all uniquely shaped.
Paul said, We will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. Each of us is an original.  There’s no place for petty jealousy between servants. When you’re busy serving, you don’t have time to be critical. Any time spent criticizing others is time that could have been spent ministering.   If you serve like Jesus, you can expect to be criticized. The disciples criticized one of the most beautiful acts of love shown to Jesus. Mary took the most valuable thing she owned, expensive perfume, and poured it over Jesus. Her lavish service was called “a waste” by the disciples, but Jesus called it “significant,” and that’s all that mattered. Your service for Christ is never wasted, regardless of what others say.
Fourth – Real servants base their identity in Christ.  They remember they are unconditionally loved and accepted by grace, so they don’t have to prove their worth when they are threatened by lowly jobs. Most of us are too insecure to be servants. We are afraid our weaknesses and insecurities will be uncovered so we hide them with layers of protective pride and pretensions.
One of the most profound examples of serving from a secure self-image is Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. Washing feet was the equivalent of being a shoeshine boy, a job devoid of status. If you’re going to be a servant you must settle your identity in Christ. Only secure people can serve. The more insecure you are, the more you’ll want people to serve you, and the more you’ll need their approval.
On the other hand, when you base your worth and identity on your relationship with Christ, you are freed from the expectation of others. You are freed to serve.
Finally, real servants think of ministry as an opportunity, not an obligation. They enjoy helping people, meeting needs, and doing ministry. They “serve the Lord with gladness.”
Why do we serve with gladness? Because we love the Lord, We are grateful for His grace, we know serving is the highest use of life, and God has promised a reward. Jesus promised the Father will honor and reward anyone who serves me. Imagine what could happen if just 10% of all Christians in the world got serious about their role of being a real servant. Imagine all the good that could be done. Are you willing to be one of those people?
Albert Schweitzer said, “The only really happy people are those have learned how to serve.”

Accountability (10 Minutes)

Each disciple to share one insight or lesson learned from his/her devotion in the last week.
If you could start any ministry, what would it be and who would it serve?

Bible Discussion (20 Minutes)

1. Study Philippians 2:2-9. What are the characteristics of a servant leader as modelled by Jesus?  Share your insights.
2. In 1 Timothy 4: 6-15, the apostle Paul directed Timothy to train himself to be godly so that he can be equipped to serve.  Highlight a few essential qualities from this passage that are needed of a Christian servant. 

Life Transformation (20 Minutes)

1. How have you shown your love for God by loving others this week? If you haven’t, share your reason/s why?
2. Is there anyone you find hard to love? Why? 
3. What are the areas of growth in your life that will improve your Christian service as a kingdom builder?

Intercessory Prayer (10 Minutes)

  1. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide and lead in my ministry.
  2. Have a servant attitude, a willingness to give all of ourselves as a servant of Jesus.
  3. Be committed to serving others as if we are serving Jesus.
  4. For the Holy Spirit to change my heart and help me love others more. 
  • Emphasize we are saved by the grace of God so that we might serve the world for Jesus.
  • Point out that there are many people in the church who served the Lord for various motives and purposes and often they are self-serving.  
  • Every disciple who is a servant-leader of Jesus must allow the Holy Spirit to calibrate their hearts and minds to be Christ-like so that the kingdom of God can be built up.  
  • Challenge members to highlight some of the faulty rationale and reasons for some who are not serving, perhaps including those within the group. 
**Additional Resources