People can be driven by all kinds of agendas, and within each of us can exist the potential of serving others selfishly.
We can give of ourselves from a place of greed.
That’s why I believe it is so imperative that we be mindful of our motives when it comes to ministry.
Otherwise we can all too easily slip into a self-serving form of service and find ourselves giving for all the wrong reasons.
We’ve all seen it.
These are the people that, oddly, are often too busy to serve on set-up teams, yet are ready and able to serve in the guest speaker’s lounge. They’ve mastered the art of snapping that subtle selfie to add to their carefully curated Instagram feed of Christian celebrity photobombs.
These are the people who will resist being put in positions where it doesn’t serve their agenda and/or track with the opportunity that they are after. They will often be found faithfully serving on a team only if they perceive it will move them closer to their desired outcome.
They often specialize in hobnobbing and soliciting anyone of influence who might be able to do something to help them achieve their agenda.
The Power Hungry
Maybe it’s not opportunity that’s your kryptonite, but power, position, or prominence.
The power hungry are the types that will stop at nothing until they have successfully weaselled their way up the organizational ladder.
Don’t get me wrong, as appealing as it is to be promoted to the prestigious role of Assistant-Director-To-The-Regional-Archdeacon, it just shouldn’t be the motivator for our service, know what I am saying?
Positions of power exist for the purpose of service, not status.
The Attention Seeker
These are the people whose motivation for service rests solely on people’s praise and recognition of them.
Sadly, these are often the types that are slow to pick up a mop, but quick to pick up a mic. Their service is often driven by an inner need to be the centre of attention — to be noticed.
That’s why they will often seek the highly seen and celebrated positions on team and will avoid doing any of the behind-the-scenes work. However my motto is, if you’re too big to set up the stage, you’re too small to stand on it.
The challenge for these attention starved types is often to remain fuelled by the cause and not by the applause. #PurposeOverPopularity
At any rate, living ignorant to what drives us can cause even the best of us to discover that, beneath the surface of our service, can exist a whole subplot playing out full of hidden agenda and silent expectation.
If we’re not watchful, we can unknowingly find ourselves enlisting into the secret service — secretly serving for selfish gain.
Just don’t be that guy.
It’s that simple.
If anything, I’d encourage you to learn from the words of the apostle Paul:
If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, […] — then do me a favor: […] Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.5-8 Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave. (Phil. 2:3-4 MSG)