I love the concept of ‘Servanthood’ discovered in the bible because of what it implies! To be a servant you need to ‘belong’ to someone. Paul, the writer of much of the New Testament always made this known, straight off the bat in his letters to the believers, he says, “I, Paul, a SERVANT of Jesus Christ…”
Servanthood implies we belong to someone! We have a master. Not to something, rather, to ‘someone’. I belong to Christ. Not a ministry. Not to a church, a denomination, or religion. Not my chaplaincy, not my work… boss… wife… kids. Foremost, Paul asserts our ‘belonging’ is rooted deeply in our relationship with Jesus Christ.
This is important in chaplaincy because we need to get our acceptance and confidence solely from Him and not those we serve – a very real temptation in sport chaplaincy! The temptation is to look for acceptance from people in the club. Then to live in that acceptance. I often hear chaplains feel thrilled at how accepting people are in their club. That’s great! But if you are looking to that for resilience in ministry it will fail you because people’s acceptance can be fickle!
It’s also important to our chaplaincy story because of the deep need in our community to find a ‘meaningful sense of belonging’. Our high-tech world lacks this deep sense of high-touch ‘belonging’. Again we have this in our daily walk with Christ!
Our clubs, work places and schools are eagerly attempting to build a deep sense of community. As Chaplains we bring this rich sense of belonging. It brings life, hope, confidence, it builds up and adds deep meaning in life. That’s why our personal daily relationship with Christ is critical and regular fellowship amongst believers, in church, is so necessary and relevant.
Over the past 5 years clubs and sports communities have expressed to me their wholehearted need to develop healthy community and a deep sense of belonging in their clubs. We, as God’s hand and feet understand community. We are good at understanding belonging. And we are wise about the things which work ‘for’ (righteousness) and ‘against’ (self) healthy community.
Stay close in your walk with the Lord. Develop your pastoral care skills. Learn, train, read about the skills necessary to do community well.
Our clubs and communities are looking for leadership. I pray that you may effectively champion seeing ‘God’s Kingdom come…’, which is His grace and His mercy arrive and transform your club, community and enrich our great nation for Him.
Are you HIS servant?