In his book entitled, More Ready Than You Realize: The Power of Everyday Conversations, Brian D. McLaren says that, “probably the greatest heresy in the history of monotheism” is “that to be one of God’s people means to be chosen for exclusive and elite privilege, not universal service and sacrifice.” As Christians we are called to have a servant identity. As McLaren goes on to say, “without this servant identity truly and deeply ingrained in us, I do not think anything we do can be truly called evangelism, because evangelism means ‘spreading good news,’ and as non-servants, our elitist identity will pollute our message so that our version of the news becomes less than good.”
Here at First United Methodist Church, we have been at work taking on projects that will hopefully shape our servant identity. We have been preparing lice kits for the schools to have available to children or youth who become infected with head lice. This year we partnered with The Salvation Army for the Pack Their Packs program to help provide school supplies to students in the Coffeyville area as they begin a new school year. At Christmas time, we have long prepared boxes of food for families in need. This coming Christmas, we plan to prepare boxes for even more families than last year. We have helped more than 100 individuals and families through the food pantry and the emergency assistance fund. We also prepare CDs of the sermon each week that are available to take to shut-ins, along with a bulletin, to keep folks connected to the church.
We hope and pray that God is indeed shaping us here at First United Methodist Church to have a servant identity. For we are called to be servants, as Christ was, reaching out and showing God’s love to all we meet.