About two years ago, I became a leader for the YoungLife ministry. In what seemed to be a perfect pairing, I was matched with the freshmen girls group of a particular high school in Roswell, Ga. I couldn’t have been more excited. I was ready to be involved. I was ready to make a difference. I was ready to serve.
Eventually, and much to my surprise, my passion began to wither as I started to feel the burden of my service. Because my girls were freshmen, and transportation was always an issue, I became the go-to chauffeur. The girls started to crave rides more than direction and I could not help but feel…used.
This service was not what I imagined. The kids were not putting in the effort that I expected and I fear that, out of disappointment, my leadership followed suit. Why should I be the only one caring? Do they feel no ownership in this ministry? The situation had made itself clear: My impact was minimal at best and my gas budget suffered each semester.
I spent much time in reflection, what was wrong with me? Then it hit me: What I wanted was not service, it was significance.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” – NIV
Sometimes, the words of Paul can cut like a knife. In a simple, two-verse statement, he managed to convict me of my entire leadership mentality.
How many of us miss the entire point of our service? Paul is so adamant in his instruction that he goes as far as to say, if we cannot forfeit our own desires…we should do nothing! Don’t get involved if it is only going to be about us.
How I wish that I understood earlier, sometimes, the service that counts is the service that costs.