Serving: Set the Example


"In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father." -- Matthew 5:16


I remember when I first began coaching, I noticed something about my new team that troubled me. Anytime we had to set up for practice or clean up after practice, most of the seniors and juniors would do very little, if anything, while the freshman and sophomores did most of the work. And no one expected me to do anything as a coach. It seemed like the commonly accepted practice. Yet there was plenty of resentment on both sides, both from underclassmen who didn’t want to do all the work and from upperclassmen who felt that the underclassmen were being entitled for not wanting to do the work.

As a coach, I wanted to do something about this, so I tried to take a page out of Jesus’ book. I set the example. I tried to be the first one there to help set up when it was needed, and I stuck around until the clean up was complete after practice was over. And sure enough, the overall attitude seemed to change. Freshmen and sophomores were still doing work, but instead of resenting it, they rushed to do it so that I wouldn’t have to do as much. Upperclassmen joined in willingly when they saw that an authority above them wasn’t afraid to do the dirty work.

In the same way that my service put me in a position where my athletes could understand that their service directly aided me, Jesus has put himself in the position where we could understand that our service to others is service directly to God. Because of our pride, we tend to see certain jobs and forms of work as beneath us, but in the Kingdom of God, there’s no room for that. And Jesus showed that with His actions. He obeyed the will of God the Father fully, even to the point of washing feet, and even to the point of dying on the cross. Everything He did was for the glory of God; He never considered Himself too good for any act of service.

So whether it’s something like fulfilling a role on a team, cleaning up the locker room after a game, completing a chore for a family member, or engaging in community service, we can never consider ourselves too good for anything either. The example for us has already been set, and we are always setting an example for others. Be an example of Jesus.

  • Have you ever had a coach, teacher, or parent set the example in service? How did it make you feel?
  • Have you or another member of your team ever refused to serve well? What did that do to the team
  • Where do you have the opportunity to serve others this week?

Colossians 3:23-24


“Lord, thank You for loving and serving us first. Please take away any pride in my heart and replace it with humility to serve. I want to follow Your example and serve others well in all areas of my life, no matter what that looks like.”

Bible Reference: 
Matthew 5:16
Colossians 3:23-24