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We held our annual First Five at the beginning of this year. It was a time of prayer for the year to come that focused on a different theme each day. Each theme centered on thanks for the past year, then cycled through the four core values of First Rate (Love, Give, Serve, and Enjoy). I wanted to highlight the discussion that took place during the day that focused on the core value “Serve.”
After reading Luke 22:25-27, I couldn’t help but focus on how Jesus transformed the idea of service. This was primarily driven by the particular word used for “serve” in the original translation. The Greek word for “serve” used in this passage is diakoneō, which is where we get the word deacon. Obviously, the word “deacon” can mean different things to different people. After 3 years of divinity school in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, it is hard for me to hear the word “deacon” and not get a mental image of our top hat wearing mascot the demon deacon. Hopefully for the majority of you that isn’t the case, because that mascot can be a little creepy looking. Most likely the first thing that comes to mind is some local church leader. We use the term deacon often to signify an individual who takes on added responsibility to help lead their church through service. That is the perfect imagery for the word deacon since, essentially, a deacon enters into a covenant with their church.
I wondered, what if we started to treat the “Serve” in our four core values the same way we treated the word “deacon?” How would that change our interactions here within First Rate? How would that change our connections with the numerous non-profits we support? How would that change our lives personally at home?
This year, I challenge you to transform how you live out our core value of “Serve.” I challenge all of us to reexamine the covenants we have entered into. When you make a donation through our employee contribution program, recognize that as the beautiful covenant it is. When your department goes out together to donate bicycles, build goodie bags, or volunteer at Mission Arlington, revel in the majesty of the covenant you are participating in. When you work together on a project here in the office, acknowledge the covenant that will lead to success for each of you. Rethink how you are serving by looking at everything through the lens of a covenant.
If we make this the year of “Service as a Covenant,” then this could be an astounding year for First Rate and everyone it touches.