Humility—The Soil out of which Senior Adult Ministry Grows

A few years ago I was asked to speak on the subject, “A Guide to Motivating Senior Adult Volunteerism.” In my preparation it soon became obvious to me that church leaders can not with their own abilities motivate fellow Christians to long-term service, unless those individuals already have servant-hearts. Heart work is God’s work, not man’s. Individuals do have choice, i.e., whether to serve or not, but other-person-centeredness comes out of a heart that is humble before God.


This is basically what Paul said in Philippians 2. He began the chapter talking about inner incentives to serving others—

“If you have anyencouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion. . . .”

When we come to understand emotionally and intellectually who God is and how much God has done for us and how undeserving we are, it turns our hearts into moldable clay and allows God to be the potter, to shape us as he wills. In other words, pride and self-centeredness dissipate. To such individuals Paul says,

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition orvain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourself. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others

Lest there were any pride in “self” still hanging on, the Apostle writes that our attitude should be like that of Christ Jesus, who humbly

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