Whether we are employees or employers, we want to approach our daily work with a servant spirit. A servant spirit is primarily focused on advancing the good of others, not personal good. To paraphrase Christ’s words, we are here not to be served but to serve and to give our working lives for the benefit of others – colleagues, clients, customers, etc.

However, we should carry that servant spirit also into other areas of life in which we are not paid, work or service in which there is no financial reward. If we are only willing to work for money, then we are no better than the world. If we won’t do anything unless someone pays us, then we are totally selfish.

Church Service

The first sphere of unpaid service should be the church. What can I do in my church that helps or serves others without me getting any pay in return? There’s always plenty to be done in the church. There are plenty of opportunities to serve. Ask the deacons or the elders if you can’t see any of them.

Or take opportunities that arise when churches ask for volunteers to help with Spring clean-up or shoveling paths or manning the security cameras or painting the basement or whatever. Are there any seniors that would value a visit? Are there any kids with special needs you could give an hour a week to?

Community Service

Then, outside the church, there will be opportunities to serve in various non-profit charitable enterprises or volunteer positions as coaches in sports or administrators in various clubs.

And, of course, as the Good Samaritan reminds us, there’s our neighbor. Often there is need right beside us if only we would open our eyes and ears. Even if it is only giving a cup of cold water in Christ’s name, Christ sees it as done to him (Matt. 10:42; 25:31-48).

Home Service

If you are still at home living with parents, ask your Mom or Dad, “What can I do?” Why not give up an evening a week or a Saturday morning a month to help out around the house and do some chores or repair work or wash the car or clean out the garage.


Do some unpaid service today. In your church, in your community or in your home. And try to keep your service as quiet as possible. You don’t need to tell everyone all that you are doing. If you do, you’ve corrupted your service, and received your reward. Be content to serve quietly, unnoticed, and be satisfied that God sees in secret and that God will reward you openly and eventually (Matt. 6:1-4).

Be motivated by the Servant, the Lord Jesus Christ who took a towel and washed his disciples feet and said go and do the same (John 13:1-17). Go do something for nothing, because of Christ who did everything for nothings and it cost him everything.

Real Men are Servants

Discussion Questions

1.  Whom do you serve in your daily life?

2. What unpaid service do you engage in regularly?

3. What can you learn about service from the life and death of Jesus Christ?

Further Reading

Five Marks of a Servant Leader
The Servant Leader
Leaders – Go Forth and Die
Servant Leadership Guide (secular perspective)