7 Overlooked Ways to Serve

In my morning meditation, I was drawn to Richard Foster’s classic work, The Celebration of Discipline, where he lists 7 often overlooked ways Christians can serve one another. I thought it was worth sharing. If you have not read this book, I strongly encourage it.

He draws our attention to the difference between choosing to serve and choosing to be a servant. “When we choose to serve, we are still in charge. But when we choose to be a servant, we give up the right to be in charge.”

  1. The Service of Hiddeness-destroys pride, the need to be esteemed, and shallowness
  2. The Service of Guarding the Reputation of Another– never participating in the slander of another
  3. The Service of Common Courtesy– acknowledges others and affirms their worth
  4. The Service of Hospitality– being together so life can be shared
  5. The Service of Listening– compassion and patience allows people to be heard and transforms our affections and priorities
  6. The Service of Bearing the Burdens of Each Other– learning to uphold others without being destroyed by them
  7. The Service of Sharing the Word of Life with One Another– in this, the full counsel of God is found

Foster recommends to begin the day by praying, “Lord Jesus, as it would please you bring me someone today whom I can serve.”

I would only add that if you pray this prayer, ger ready, for God will surely hear and answer!


#lovelikeJesus: Can you love him even if he never changes?

Many years ago, I was ministering to a person and he wasn’t changing as fast as I wanted. Quite honestly, he wasn’t changing at all. Nothing I said or did seemed to make a difference. Then I received a call that he was in the hospital. He had an addiction and frequented the hospital. That was it! Not again. I was done. I got in my vehicle and headed to the hospital to give him a piece of my mind.

I was on Wilson Street preparing my scolding when I heard the Holy Spirit say to me, “Kevin, WHAT are you doing?” I immediately knew I was in the wrong.  

Then He spoke again saying, “Can you love him even if he never changes?” Wow! I wasn’t sure. I was so frustrated and done. I knew I had less than a mile and only a few minutes to decide. I parked and walked toward the hospital doors. As the doors opened, God’s timely interrogation changed me. I realized I was no different than the addiction that was trying to control him. I realized I was trying to make him change more for my sake than his. I was tired of repeating myself, tired of “wasting” time, tired of not seeing progress, tired of fooling with him.

God made me a better pastor that day. I wasn’t safe before. We are not safe for the people we lead if our motivation is self-serving and our methods controlling. The shepherd gives His life for the sheep. John 10:11

Is there anyone in your life that you need to love even if they never change? I’m not saying to stop telling them the truth, or stop praying for them, or stop reaching for them. You may even need to back away for a season. I’m just saying that we can’t make people change. It doesn’t work that way.

Fast forward to today…This person still has not changed but I can love them now, regardless. What about you? Can you love your person even if they never change?

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things; love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:7-8


#lovelikeJesus: Because I’m Your Son

Early on, I mistakenly learned to associate love with doing good. If I did good I thought people would like me. If I did bad, I thought they would dislike me. I even thought God was like that.

Then at the age of 28, Brantly and I became the proud parents of a baby boy we named Caden. One night I went in to check on him before I went to bed. There he was asleep, just breathing. His chest would rise and fall with each new breath. In that moment I discovered the love of the Father. This child of mine was doing nothing and yet I was so overwhelmed with love for him.

As Caden got older I wanted him to know I would love Him regardless. I wanted him to know my love would not eb and flow with his performance and behavior. What could I do to drive this point home? I taught him this little Q&A. I would ask him, “Caden, why do I love you?” I then taught him to respond, “Because I’m your son!”

I always asked Him this after he did something good. Why good? I wanted him to know I was proud of him but that wasn’t why I loved him. I hoped if he saw that my love in the good days was grounded in sonship, that he would remember his sonship in the bad days.

Today Caden is 17 and he’s sitting on the couch beside me right now. “Hey son, why do I love you?”

“Because I’m your son!”

Child, God loves you with the perfect love of a Father. He stays awake at night after the good days and the bad, just to watch you breath.


#lovelikeJesus: Hold This Ground

I’ve been guilty of wanting to be right, so I stood my ground but lost in love. How many friendships were lost because we held the wrong ground? How many marriages were lost because we held the wrong ground? How many churches were destroyed because we held the wrong ground? Oh, how easily we give up on each other.

We must fight, defend, and hold the ground of love. 1 Corinthians 13:7 says love endures all things. People smarter than me, say this Greek word harkens to a military command to hold an area of value at all cost. Countless soldiers have given their lives for ground like this. Oh, that we valued the ground of love and relationship this same way.

There is a place for knowledge. There is a place for speaking truth. There is a place for wisdom and seeing but the writer Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 13 that without love these things are nothing. Maturity is not a measure of how much we know but how well we love.

What ground will you hold? I choose love. I choose you!


We Value #Wholeness

We Value #Wholeness

God is holy! He is perfectly whole. This sets God apart and makes Him unlike any other. We are unable to relate to this supreme perfection in every single imaginable category. He then calls us to be holy! What??? At first that seems overwhelming and impossible but only if I hear this as a call to absolute moral perfection. If instead what I hear is an invitation to be made whole in every area of life, well now you have my interest and attention. Tell me more.

The Greek word “sozo” translated to save carries with it the idea of being saved, to keep safe and sound, to preserve, to deliver, to be make well, to heal, to make whole. Salvation is an invitation into the wholeness of God in every area of life, without exception. Now think of the life and ministry of Jesus and how He ministered wholeness in mind, body, soul, spirit, emotion, thoughts, and feelings.  

Consider His work to free us from sinlike hate, addiction, jealousy, envy, strife, bitterness, unforgiveness, materialism, greed, lust, pride, and so on. Consider His work to free us from trauma, hurts, and shame from the past. Consider his work to free us from sickness and disease. Now consider His work to free us to taste the fruit of heaven…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

We need both ministries; the ministry of freedom from and the ministry of freedom to. It’s impossible to experience joy while harboring bitterness or any other sin. Sometimes we must repent of the one to experience the other. Then there are the times when God’s presence breaks in and overwhelms every other thought and emotion. The key is to let God chose the appropriate strategy. The key for us is to embrace the invitation to be made whole in every area of life so that every year we can honestly say we are experiencing more freedom and more wholeness than ever before. Oh, and by the way, whatever we are unable to finish on this side will be finished when we stand in His holy, perfect, absolutely whole presence.

If you need help experiencing wholeness here are ways ember can help.


  • Ember Cares-A way to connect people with basic services for food, clothing, healthcare, housing, employment, resumes, etc
  • Professional Counseling –Licensed and pastoral care on a broad range of issues
  • Ember Celebrate Freedom – Group support for hurts, hang-ups, and addictions
  • Sozo Sessions-Inner healing and deliverance aimed at getting to the spiritual roots of hinderances to your connection with God

To begin the journey to wholeness today please call or text Kim Sconyers LPC at 803-899-2804.