Do you feel appreciated for all the hard work you do in creating church communications? I’ve been hearing from a lot of people recently, that with all the current increased demands on communicators, that many don’t feel appreciated. How about you?
Hi, I’m Yvon Prehn and Welcome to The Devotions for Church Communicators Podcast!
As you’ll see today, how we react in times like this depends a lot on how we see our identity, our role as a church communicator and that’s what I want to talk about.
As always in this short podast I want to help you focus on God’s Word, the incredible calling you have to share God’s message of salvation, and to strengthen and encourage you.
This podcast is from me, Yvon Prehn and my ministry Effective Church Communications.
Following is the Podcast and below that the transcript of it.
Our podcast today is entitled: # 15 Not feeling appreciated in your church communications work? An identity check might help.
Our key verse for today is Mark 10:42-44 where it says—
Jesus called them together and said, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them . . . .Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.
The devotion goes on…..
Servant, bond-slave—one with no rights of our own, one whose purpose in life is to serve another—that is our core identity as church communicators. Just reading those words, how our human nature wants to fight it. We want to be recognized for our brilliance and creativity and sometimes we grouse in private that we “aren’t appreciated.”
We probably aren’t—not being appreciated is what being a servant means. We can’t change that reality, but when we stop fighting it, when we submit and serve, we find peace and satisfaction in our work.
Oh, that is hard—not what you may have expected to hear, but bear with me and I trust you’ll be encouraged by the end of this.
We can’t rearrange our thoughts about our identity or about being a servant on our own. It so goes against our human nature.
Though there are many verses in the Bible that talk about servanthood, I want to take these few minutes to remind us that Jesus doesn’t ask us to do anything he has not done. Let’s take a few minutes to take our eyes off ourselves and look at Him.
Here are some verses that remind us of how Jesus identified himself. The references are all on the website, I’ll read them without the references as I don’t want to break the flow of the thought.
Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be happy if you do them. (John 13:14-17)
For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:28 NLT)
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself
and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross! (Phil. 2:5-9)
Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)
Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. (Eph. 6:7 NLT)
One more verse. Not only does He ask us to serve, but He will help shoulder the load of service with us, enabling us to be the kind of servant who is pleasing to him.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11: 28-30)
Adapted from: Devotions for Church Communicators by Yvon Prehn
That’s the end of the devotion, but I want to share A few additional notes on application
As I was thinking about this I realized that one of the most important things we need to remember on the topic of being a servant is WHO is the Master we serve.
We tend to think of the people around us—the pastor of the church, the staff at the church, the people in the church, our boss in the workplace, our spouse or kids at home. They are all important, and definitely we ought to serve them all.
But the primary one we serve is the Lord Jesus. Somehow, to be content as a servant we need to see past the people in front of us and keep our eyes on Jesus. His standards are truly the only ones that matter; his esteem and how he values us are the only honest measure of our true worth. His pleasure at the hard work we put in, His knowing the struggles only He sees and fully understands are what matter.
People will always disappoint us—as we will always disappoint others. If we keep looking only at them and for their words of appreciation to validate our worth, we will never get enough.
St. Augustine said, “Thou hast made us for thyself Oh Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.”
These words are so true in the area of wanting to be appreciated for our work. When we realize we were made to be a servant of the Lord Jesus and what an extraordinary privilege that is; when we make it our highest goal to be pleasing to Him, that’s when we will find rest in our work.
It isn’t a goal too difficult or one requiring brutal work hours or demands on ourselves.
Remember Jesus totally loves and values us at our most sinful and miserable and when we are totally worthless for any use in His Kingdom. No matter how inadequate we might feel, He loves us anyway and is cheering on every effort we make to serve Him.
He also gives us an extraordinary example of how to serve. Remember the verse I read earlier in John 13 where Jesus washed the disciple’s feet and he said we should do the same? That event took place the night of the Lord’s supper and if you read the passage closely you will learn it happened before Judas left to betray Jesus.
Think about that. Jesus washed Judas' feet.
I don’t understand love like that. When someone does something mean to me, far less than a betrayal like Judas’, the last thing I want to do is to serve them.
But that is what Jesus did. If I understood his love a little more, maybe I could do that even a little bit. That’s a worthy prayer for all of us and one the Apostle Paul prayed in Eph. 3:17 where he said,
“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."
When we understand Jesus’ love, when it fills us up—that’s when we will have the spiritual resources to serve well in our work as church communicators—no matter if anyone on earth appreciates us.
Lord please make it so for us all.
That’s all for today. Please subscribe to this podcast on your favorite podcast ap and tell your fellow church communicators about it so they can be encouraged and challenged in their ministry of church communications. For practical advice, free templates, and training in church communications go to www.effectivechurchcom.com.
IN closing, I’m Yvon Prehn and I’d like to end with this prayer and benediction for you as you work:
May you do your work grounded in the Word of God,
Empowered by the strength of God,
Inspired by the wonder of God,
Confident that God is with you and that He will use your communications to accomplish His will in the world.
As you work today and all your days, may your ministry be filled with joy, grace, and power in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.