According to Jesus, servanthood is the true path to greatness (Mark 10:35-45). The fourth part of our mission as a church is helping people become disciples of Jesus who serve the world in faithful stewardship. This means looking at everything in our lives as a gift that has been entrusted to us by God in order to serve others. When it comes to changing the world, the concept of stewardship finds the right balance between hopeless passivity, and feeling the weight of the world, thinking we need to do it all ourselves. Each of us has a unique and important role to play in serving the world around us, and if we are doing that we can trust God with the rest.
Key Verse: Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. – 1 Peter 4:10
Jeremy theorized that one of the reasons many people find Donald Trump annoying is that they have a secret, inner Trump that wants to be great and first, and that needs recognition and praise. We just learn to hold those thoughts in, and so when someone lets them out so blatantly, it gets on our nerves. Do you think this is true? What brings out the inner Trump in you?
Read John 13:1-17.
Footwashing was the job of the lowest servant or slave, an undesirable task that was smelly, dirty, and uncomfortable. Jesus used this job to demonstrate the kind of servanthood we can show to others, however, the example is not as meaningful in our world today. If Jesus were alive in Huntsville today, how do you think he would have demonstrated this kind of humble servanthood?
Verse 14-15 say “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” Do you think Jesus meant that we should literally wash each others’ feet? Figuratively? Both?
Can you think of any situations in which someone has served you in this kind of humble, selfless way? How did you feel at the time? What did you learn through the experience?
Jeremy suggested that while some people struggle with serving others because they are too proud, more struggle with it because they don’t believe they have anything valuable to offer. Do you think this is true? Which side do you struggle with more?
Read Matthew 25:14-30
Notice the words “faithful” and “entrusted” that are repeated in the passage. Make a list of the things have you been “entrusted” with. What might it mean to be faithful in each case?
Things I have been entrusted with How I can be a faithful steward
Suppose the Master were to return tomorrow and ask you to explain what you have done with what you’ve been given. What part of your life would you feel most comfortable answering (i.e. where do you feel you’ve been faithful)? What part would you feel most uncomfortable explaining (i.e. where do you feel you’ve hidden your gifts under a rock)?
What are some specific action steps you can take to become a more faithful steward of the gifts God has given you?
Share any reactions to or comments on the following quotes that Jeremy used Sunday:
“Do not ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman
“Self-care is never a selfish act - it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give the care it requires, we do it not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.” – Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak
“There is as much guidance in what does not and cannot happen in my life as there is in what can and does—maybe more.” – Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak