Will you seek to serve the people with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love?

Recently, as a congregation, we elected new leaders to serve as elders, deacons, trustees, and officers of the church. On May 6, during worship, we will ordain and install elders and deacons. Whenever this happens in the Presbyterian Church, the leaders are asked a set of questions, most of which have to do with church systems and beliefs, but there is one question that stands out:

Will you seek to serve the people with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love?

Reflecting on this question, Tom Long has said:

I take this question to mean, roughly translated, “Look, Jack Welch got up every morning of his career focusing all of his energy, imagination, intelligence, and passion for the bottom line at General Electric. Donald Rumsfeld gets up every morning focusing all of his energy, imagination, intelligence, and passion on making war. How dare the people of God do any less for the things of God? Will you, as a minister of the gospel, get up every morning focusing all of your energy, imagination, intelligence, and passion on the ways of peace, the paths of justice, the building up of the Body of Christ, and the hope of the gospel?”

Although we elect leaders to specific roles, we also cherish the belief in the priesthood of all believers, which means that each of us, in a unique way, is a minister of the gospel. Each of us is a follower of God, and each of us is called to use what we have to build up this world that God loves.

Today, where do you put your energy?
For what is your intelligence being used?
How does your imagination reflect the character and passion of God?
Today, how will you express love in a way that reveals God’s love?

Will you seek to serve the people
with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love?


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