Surprised by Service
by Ken Mann
What is service? What does service mean for the Christian? These are not questions I typically dwell on. Not being an especially devotional thinker, neither an eloquent writer, it is with a certain foolish enthusiasm that I dive into something one would be more likely to read from the likes of John Piper. Yet dive I must, as I learned something about service that surprised and invigorated me, something so obvious in retrospect and yet so elusive until I experienced it.
At the two churches I have attended there is a common theme regarding service. It usually entails either a short-term mission trip to a needy part of the world or finding an equally deserving group or situation in your own town. The peer pressure (“Get out of your comfort zone!”), the overwhelming need, and the obvious obedience to Jesus’ words make such trips hard to resist. Yet I fear we are so obsessed with serving Christ somewhere else (either geographically, demographically, or both) that we lose sight of the potential to serve where we are. Part of my discovery was the power of an act of service within my small circle of Biola apologetics students.
As readers of this blog know, Dr. Ordway moved from San Diego to join the faculty at Houston Baptist University. When I first heard about this and Holly’s interest in moving herself to Houston, I immediately volunteered to help with the move. I imagined there might be other friends that would step forward or that she would decide to use a moving company and simply fly to Houston. As the timing of the move firmed up Holly became more convinced that the catharsis of driving from California to Texas was an essential part of this transition. There would be help at either end to load and unload, but Holly and I were going on a road trip!
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I first met Dr. Ordway at Biola at my first summer residency in 2010. Another residency in 2011 and much e-mail culminated in my becoming a regular contributor on Hieropraxis. Holly has been a mentor in my growth as a writer. The only thing more difficult than studying apologetics is trying to find a place to practice it. Holly has been a source of wisdom and encouragement as I grow as an apologist.
With that background in mind, it should not be surprising that I would want to help such a friend. In addition to a sense of gratitude, there were three reasons why I volunteered to help Holly with this move…
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