In my own local church leadership, I’ve recently experienced the conviction of the Lord prompting me to pay attention to what He is doing in the places and people that no one notices. I’ve felt the prompting of the Spirit to help me see the activity of the Lord in people’s lives and in our community.
This experience has led me to consider two Bible stories. In the New Testament parable of The Good Samaritan, we read about a man who is beaten, stripped and left for dead by thieves (Luke 10:30). The man is passed over by two religious passers-by - a priest and a Levite. Both religious professionals reveal a condition of the heart when they not only don’t stop, but completely circumvent the abandoned man’s presence by passing by on the other side of the path (vs. 31, 32). The man is simply passed over until the Good Samaritan arrives on the scene.
The second account from the Bible I began to consider was the moment in David’s life when he was anointed as king (1 Samuel 16). The Lord had already indicated to Saul that his kingdom would not “endure forever” and that he would establish someone in his place who would be “a man after his own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14).
1 Samuel 16 shows us the story as Samuel begins to survey the sons of Jesse & consider which young man would be king. He begins with Eliab and scripture tells us that Samuel thought to himself, “surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord” (1 Samuel 16:6). God promptly rebukes him and lets him know that this decision won’t be based on what he (Samuel) notices at first - but on what He (God) notices first - the heart.
Well, you know the remainder of the story...the other sons come and they too are passed over. Finally, Samuel wonders if there are any other sons. In other words, is there a son who has been forgotten? Of course we know that David has not been called in from tending the sheep. It seems that not only his father, but his family, had overlooked the youngest. Immediately, in the biblical account, we push beyond the surface of leadership (that is, appearance and aesthetics) when Scripture tells us of David’s physical attributes, to what is most important in regard to David - his calling. “Rise and anoint him; this is the one” (1 Samuel 16:12).
My challenge for us as servant leaders as we “Serve Forward” is this:
1. Notice the unnoticed - the overlooked and forgotten that are all around us.
2. Serve by meeting their needs as the Good Samaritan did.
3. Don’t become so busy doing God’s work (e.g., the role of a priest or Levite) that we miss God’s assignment - those on the path right before or beside us.
So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now!
(NLT) 2 Corinthians 5:16
-Assistant Superintendent, Rick Womack
Bishop Tim Lamb combines over 34 years of pastoral and church planting experience to lead LifePoint Ministries. Bishop Tim's unique prophetic insight, forward-thinking leadership, and compassion for people combine to make him an effective leader for our pastors and churches.