Reflections and Blog

A Pleasure to Serve

Chick-fil-A is one of the most successful fast food franchises in America; one 2020 report noted that a Chick-fil-A restaurant is, on average, considerably more profitable than a KFC or even a McDonald’s. Though surely there are many reasons for Chick-fil-A’s success, customers often note the restaurant chain’s emphasis on service. Epitomizing Chick-fil-A’s approach, an employee’s characteristic response to a “thank you” at Chick-fil-A is, “My pleasure.” Chick-fil-A wants customers to see and believe that serving them well is a pleasure for the company’s workers and for the company as a whole. No doubt, Chick-fil-A’s resulting financial success is a pleasure, too.

I have been thinking about the above in connection with Pastor Babij’s Sunday sermon on 1 Corinthians 12:12-27. Service by every church member is God’s design and necessary for the church’s overall health as well as the health of the individual members. But ministry never ought to be mere duty; it should be our pleasure as Christians to give to and to serve one another.

Consider a profound set of verses about Gentile Christians eager to serve their Judean brethren in a time of need:

2 Corinthians 8:1-5 (NASB95), Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality. For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints, and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God.

Notice how Paul highlights in this report the joy the Macedonian Christians felt in being able to serve their distant brethren with a financial gift—even while the Macedonians themselves experienced great affliction and poverty. Amazingly, Paul says that the Macedonians not only gave beyond their ability but were begging Paul over and over again for the “favor of participation in the support of the saints.” The Macedonians saw service as a joyful privilege not to be passed up but instead begged for; indeed, they were willing to afflict themselves so that they did not miss the opportunity of blessing others in Christ. Paul reports all this to the Corinthians to encourage the Corinthians’ own happy part in taking care of the needs of the saints, as Paul makes clear in the rest of the chapter.

So, how about us? Can we, like Chick-fil-A employees, say, “My pleasure,” to our calling to serve each other in the church, even when others do not see our service or recognize it? And, more importantly, can “my pleasure” be the true testimony of our hearts in Christ?

Questions to Consider:
1. Why should Christians take joy in service?
2. Some people stop serving when undergoing a trial or when service becomes inconvenient. How does such contrast with the Macedonian attitude of 2 Corinthians 8:1-5?
3. How can you serve your family, church, and neighbors with joy right now?