Once you establish the mindset of a servant leader, it isn't all that difficult to think of ways to serve those around you. A big part of it is to simply pay attention to their needs and try to meet them. For example, if a woman on my team was ill, I could bring her family dinner one evening; when another ministry is vying for space in the church, our ministry can freely give up some of our space; if I know my husband is tired, I can take care of a job that is normally his....
I can wrap my head around the concept of figurative foot washing when it comes to church ministry, the people I run into day-to-day, events I attend, my husband, friends, even enemies.
Here is a wild and crazy thought, though, that I just cannot wrap my head around. How can I wash the feet of my children? As a mother, these children are my primary ministry. My job is not simply to tend to them, but to minister to them in love and show them God's love. I think one of the reasons I can't "get it" is because my job with them is already serve, serve, serve. I cook for them, clean up after them and with them, bathe them, teach them, discipline them, cuddle them, and on it goes.
But do I do all these things out of the love of my heart to serve them and bless them, or are they merely things I do because it's my job to do them? Am I a servant leader to my children, or a dictator?
To be honest, I have never before considered my children my ministry. Raising them is my job - being a mother is my role. So I do what I have to do, often begrudgingly, with irritability and impatience. But if I led my children the way I lead my ministry, with passion and purpose and a vision, it would become God's work. That would be ministry. That would be servant leadership. That would be foot washing.
I think Jesus and I need to spend our time together tomorrow morning talking about how to wash the feet of my children. We'll probably make a list. Jesus and I LOVE lists!
What are some things that you do (or could do) to figuratively wash the feet of your children?
* a re-post from the archives