|Service: A Biblical Basis
The renowned New Testament Greek scholar,
William Barclay, tells a nice little story about a
missionary who arrived in the Congo years ago to
share the gospel of the Lord Jesus. Two
missionaries had preceded this particular one and
had failed miserably. The two former missionaries
had been members of the proud Baganda tribe for
which menial work was reserved for women and
slaves. When the native people refused to provide
food for these missionaries, they left because they
were too proud to work.
Knowing about the failures of his predecessors,
Apolo entered the area prepared to grow his own
food. On his way to the village of his calling, he
stopped to cut some hoe handles so he would be
able to work a patch of ground. When the ruler of
the tribe saw Apolo entering their village carrying
the hoe handles, he exclaimed, "Here is a man
who is going to conquer." Apolo won the hearts of
these villagers because he went prepared to
serve. Apolo had learned well the advice given
once by Bernard of Clairvaux: "Learn the lesson
that, if you are to do the work of a prophet, what
you need is not a scepter but a hoe."
God has called His people to serve—to serve Him
and to serve others. As someone has said, "We
never stand so tall as when we stoop to serve."
The Bible is a handbook on service.