If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. (1 Pet. 4:11)

IT IS GOOD TO RECOGNIZE those who serve in the church. We need to honor those who give themselves in service to the church and community, whether they serve in the pulpit, classroom, kitchen, choir, or custodial closet. We applaud those who are visible with their service and who do it with excellence, but there are servants you may never see, without whom nothing would ever get done. We need to thank God for them.

Some people have tremendous natural abilities through which they serve the church in exceptional ways and by which they may get recognition and acclaim. Their challenge comes at the point of whether it is natural ability or spiritual empowerment that is being recognized and whether it is the person or God who is getting the acclaim.

Some people seem to have few natural abilities and less personal charisma, but they serve fervently and are effective in their ministry. They serve more out of spiritual empowerment than natural giftedness. Their challenge comes at the point of whether they can overcome the temptation to devalue themselves and their service, allowing the strength of God to be obvious and praise be directed to Him.

We can sit in awe of the orator, the musician, and the leader when we should be in awe of the power of God that has moved the church forward for centuries through the service of common people who acknowledge their inadequacy without God, serve faithfully, and leave the results to Him.

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all His strength.

Ken Heer is the author of Ancient Fire: The Power of Christian Rituals in Contemporary Worship (WPH) and directs a retirement community in Brooksville, Florida.