The Essential Element of Discipleship by OJS

Have you ever noticed some Christians seem just as discontent, unsatisfied, and unhappy as unbelievers? Family is complicated… work is stressful… life throws constant curveballs. Focused inwardly, they become so enamored with their own needs that they are blind to needs of those who are actually less fortunate than them. Church becomes a “bless me” club and their relationship with the Lord becomes frigid and stale.

Sometimes we act selfishly and we don’t even realize it. We catch a bad case of AAMS (All About Me Syndrome). For this condition there is only one cure, and it is the essential element of discipleship:  go serve somebody! 

                                         – BEING CONFORMED TO HIS IMAGE –  

Jesus was as far from self-centered as one could ever be. He was constantly looking for opportunities serve those around Him. He said of Himself, “The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve…” (Mark 10:45). Paul said of Him, “He stripped Himself of all privileges and rightful dignities to become a servant…” (Philippians 2:7)

You know, there is a euphoric high that comes from serving! Where do you think we as Christians got that? From our Father, of course! It is the most amazing feeling to help someone in need that cannot help you in return. Truly, this is the best explanation for what Jesus did for the world – giving Himself for us when we could not give anything in return. Imagine the euphoria Jesus felt as He laid down His life and then rose again to rescue us! Wow! This is the “joy that was set before Him” that Hebrews 12 speaks of. 

Defender of the Weak, Physician of the Sick, Toucher of Lepers, Sinner’s Savior, Broken Heart Healer, Prostitute Pardoner – this is our Master. Our King is Servant of All. And this is the example we have committed to follow. This is the image to which God is endeavoring to conform us. 

All you have learned, all you have been given, all you have received is NOT all for you. It is for others. God wants to get it TO you so that He can get it THROUGH you. I dare you, ask Him to open your eyes to the hurting, the dirty, and the needy. You may be surprised at what happens next. 


Oftentimes a person will assume that because he is not a preacher or minister that he doesn’t have anything to give to others. What a lie of the devil! People need what you (yes, YOU) have. Remember Colossians 1:27 – “To whom God would make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the lost, which is Christ IN YOU, the hope of glory.” 

Christ IN you. Do you realize that the hope of those around you is inside of you? A hug, a prayer, a kind word, an act of kindness, a few dollars, a visit to a sick person, a Bible verse, a listening ear… all of this is Jesus manifested. True ministry isn’t just talking from the pulpit. Actually, any true pastor will tell you that pulpit preaching is only about 5% of ministry! True ministry is inconveniencing yourself to humbly seek and save the lost, visit the prisoners, clothe the poor, and bear one another’s burdens. 

My friend, you have something to give. I have served in many nations, and I’m telling you that this is an absolute truth: if you are an American who is born again, goes to church, and reads your Bible on a regular basis, you have already HEARD and FORGOTTEN more about God than most of the world has yet had a chance to hear. We are so lavishly and uncommonly blessed.  It’s not fair that we keep it to ourselves. I will say it again – people really need what you have. Have confidence in God in you. 


Giving of your time, money, and talents frees you from the familiar territory of your own needs and causes you to see the needs of the world. Serving has a way of lifting your spirits without your consent. All of a sudden, you’re aware of how blessed you are – blessed enough, in fact, to BE a blessing! It breeds in us thankfulness and appreciation. John G. Lake said, “Do not imprison Christ in you; let Him live and manifest through you.” 

Your destiny – God’s perfect will for your life – is wrapped up in PEOPLE. When you serve others, that cold and boring relationship you had with God begins to boil over the fire of Christ living out His passion for people through you. You become so close with Him as you share His heart for the lost and broken. When you get down and dirty in the trenches of hurting humanity, you are one with Jesus in His service. From there, serving at the bottom, God begins to launch you out into His divine purpose for YOUR life. It will become clearer and clearer as you go. The life of serving is the most satisfying way to live and, for us as believers, the only way to live. What a joy it is! 

Now… shake off that AAMS, and go serve somebody!

OJS is a missionary that works with Project 1615, a missions organization that is taking the Gospel to the Muslim people groups of the “STANS” of Central Asia. Through church planting, leadership training, and publishing, the lost are coming to Jesus and the underground church is being strengthened.

EDITORS NOTE: Photo and name not posted to protect the missionaries working overseas in Muslim nations.




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