“Don’t be embarrassed of humble beginnings” she said from the pulpit.
“Ya, that’s easy for you to say, as you stand up there and I stand back here holding the door open for the leaders as the Greeter.” I sarcastically thought to myself.
She continued to share her story “I wasn’t always a pastor’s wife, you know. When I first got saved I used to clean the church.”
“Okay, now you have my attention. YOU used to clean the church?”
I felt so embarrassed. There I was thirty years old in drug rehab, my life was a mess, and I was doing the lowest job available. I was the Servant Girl. And believe me, that was not the last lowly job I had in rehab either, I cleaned church bathrooms, did weekly car washes on the corner to raise money, worked at a carnival, washed dishes, served food at banquets and much more.
One of the things I liked about living in the women’s home was the potential to become a leader, however the other women who were “less qualified” kept getting raised up instead of me. I went through a lengthy season of envy and arrogance not understanding why I wasn’t a leader yet and the other girls were. I was so much better than them, because I had the leadership skills and the desire to be used as a leader.
The other Girls were getting raised up on average of 2-4 months after arriving, it took me 8 months to finally figure out the secret-I needed to be a humble servant to lead the way Jesus leads. I learned that things in the Christian world worked much different-it was the servant-the lowly humble one that got to be the leader, not the know-it-all arrogant one, like myself.
I envied the pastor’s wife who spoke that day and the other leaders, because I wanted to be where they were. I admired the way they got to dress and how people responded to them. No one even noticed me. The scripture below resonated with me at the time, because I didn’t want to be a leader so that I could serve, I wanted to be served and get all the attention.
“Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others” Matthew 23:5-7.
The Bible says, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up” James 4:10. Here are a few ways that I humbled myself, try them and see if it helps you become more of a servant leader.
- Do something for someone who can’t do anything for you. Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” Luke 14:11-14
- Serve in secret. Purchase something and give it to someone in need and don’t tell anyone you did it. “What your Father sees you do in secret, He will reward you openly.”
- Volunteer for a humble position at church, like cleaning the bathrooms or taking care of kids in the nursery. A behind the scenes kind of serving without recognition. “The least of these will be the greatest.” Matthew 19:30
- Hang out with humble people, especially Jesus. The more we hang out with Him-the more we become like Him and He is humble. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
- Submit to whomever is in charge, whether they know what they’re doing or not. The best leaders are the best followers.
My first position I had as a leader was “Chore Checker” where I got to inspect the Girl’s rooms in order for them to have coffee in the morning. That was 7 1/2 years ago and I have been a leader ever since, getting raised up steadily all the way to “Head Staff” which was second to my director, then I became the “Women’s Director” at a Christian ranch, then the “Ministry Coordinator” at my last church and now I’m the “President & Founder” of Purely His, Inc.
I actually love to serve now and purposefully put myself in positions of serving, like working at our coffee stand at church. Most of what I do, I do for free, like spending several hours a week ministering to women and families in crisis, I also teach and share my story without recognition or financial benefits. However, that doesn’t matter to me anymore, because I know that my Father in Heaven sees me, my Heavenly reward will be great and that’s what really mattes to me now, because I was saved to serve.
I am a servant Girl and proud of it!