Serving Together is Messy Business

Dear Friends,

From time-to-time, I like to share one of the blogs of our ministry partners. This is written by LaTonya Gates-Boston, founder of Paradise Atlanta West (also known as PAWKids).


Serving Together is Messy Business

God has been teaching me a lot about servanthood lately as nothing is ever as it seems it will be.  As fallen people, living in a fallen world, even our best intentions become tainted. If we are fortunate, we have people around us who can speak into our lives and bring us back to truth.  Back to Jesus and His desire for us to empty ourselves and to be nothing for the sake of others.

The getting back to that place is not easy as usually pride and other junk is clothed in many complex layers. When we serve with others, we all come with our various cultural backgrounds, ideas of norms, expectations and desires. Intentions are good and for most servant-minded individuals, we simply want to dive in.  Drink deep of the water of blessing others, believing our motives are completely pure.

But then we begin serving and discover blessing others may have to look totally different than what we expected.  It may be that we have to take a big step backwards and let others who are more familiar or equipped in a situation take the reins.  We can observe them.  Learn from them.  Become humble students.

Serving may be the satisfaction of actively working with those being served or it may be fulfilling back-seat yet vital roles.  In short, it may not be as humanly glorious as we expected but in God’s eyes, any service done for Him is glorious.

It may be embracing the good and bad of another culture, even if there are aspects that simply do not make sense to us.  When cultures collide, it is an opportunity to learn from the other and grow in understanding and appreciation of differences.  When we choose this path, serving together looks beautiful despite imperfections.

No matter how the reality may appear, serving together is a messy business.  It calls us to humbly surrender our plans and our expectations, to put the good of those we are serving before our agendas.  As difficult as it is to remember, we do not serve for our good but for their good.  We can be an army of one, who will do what it takes to see His plans carried out on this earth in whatever places we are called to serve.

For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen.” (Romans 11:36)

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (Philippians 2:3,4)

LaTonya Gates-Boston
Founder and Executive Director

Read more about PAWKids    Read more about Desire Street’s partners

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