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True ministry begins with serving. No role of ministry in the church, position, job, task or calling can be effective unless there is first a willingness to serve. Many want successful ministries, but not everyone wants to serve. Proper serving in ministry begins with a proper attitude. Philippians 2:1-4 provides at least eight essential attitudes every servant needs.

1. Servants Express Encouragement

If there be therefore any consolation in Christ…” - Consolation means providing solace, comfort, exhortation and encouragement. Servants are encouragers. They seek to raise the confidence level of others.

2. Servants Have Genuine Empathy

“…if any bowels and mercies…” - Bowels and mercies means to feel deeply. It describes the compassion that moves a man to the deepest depths of his being. Servant leaders are not detached emotionally from those they serve. Jesus, our High Priest, is touched with the feelings of our infirmities.

3. Servants Maintain Unity

…be likeminded, having the same love…” - Servants are not keepers of the peace; they are peacemakers. Peacemakers are not appeasers; they seek to please God and to bring man into harmony with God. Peacemakers don’t just stop wars, they replace the causes of war with reconciliation and unity. Servants lead by creating a likeminded culture; becoming one based on the same love.

4. Servants Understand Purpose

“…being of one accord, of one mind…” - Servants see the Big Picture. The trademark of the Acts Church was their passion for purpose! They breathed as one. Their focus was one. Their intent was one. Were they without conflicts? NO! But, they were in one accord (Acts 1:4, 2:1, 46). Servants don’t serve out of compulsion, rather out of intention and purpose.

5. Servants Are Not Politically Motivated

Let nothing be done through strife…” - Structure and order is an essential part of God’s Kingdom, but strife, mudslinging and salacious smear campaigns erode the character of the church. Strife here means “electioneering or intriguing for office; a desire to put one’s self forward, a partisan and fractious spirit.” Aristotle used this same word (strife) to denote “a self-seeking pursuit of political office by unfair means.” The thing about servants is that while they may serve in a postion, but they don’t need a position to serve.

6. Servants Are Not Conceited

Let nothing be done through…vainglory” - Servants do not have an excessively favorable opinion of their own importance. Servants do not feel the need to attract attention to themselves. Servants look to the needs of others first. There is nothing wrong with having a proper sense of pride as long as it sits on a proper base. Servants do not serve for the spotlight. They use discretion when posting their exploits on social media. Vainglory is essentially empty glory. There is only One who deserves the glory! Success in service can go straight to one’s head. Servants understand this is God’s kingdom, not theirs.

7. Servants Are Humble

“…in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” - Genuine humility is not bemoaning how low you are, it is about elevating other people. Leading with humility is investing in others. It is rejoicing over the fact that those you lead can do a better job than you. Vine writes that lowliness of mind “…. indicates, not a merely moral quality, but the subjection of self under the authority of, and in response to, the love of the Lord Jesus, and the power of the Holy Spirit to conform the believer to the character of Christ.”

8. Servants Work Well With Others

“Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”- Working with others may be the servant’s most difficult task, but servants strive to be team players. Servants are not concerned about celebrity status. Working with others is a choice and compels commitment . Teamwork is a lot like class – either you have it or you don’t. Organization alone does not ensure that people will work together. Teamwork requires servanthood.

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