"Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ." (1 Corinthians 9:19 NLT) A free man choosing to be a slave to bring many to Christ. Paul was indeed a free man, a member of the religious elite, a Roman citizen and one of the bright minds of his day. He had rights and privileges beyond most. But something happened in Paul's life that led to a change. He met Jesus on the road to Damascus and his life changed in an instant.
Paul's encounter with Christ opened his eyes to the truth and once he knew the truth, he was compelled to share it with everyone. Paul realized that just talking to them with them wasn't enough. He chose to serve them to gain an audience with them. In the verses that follow this verse, Paul talks about finding common ground with all types of people. One of the best ways to reach others is to serve them, to put their desires ahead of our own.
When we give up our own desires to help someone else, we are speaking the love of Christ much more profoundly than we can articulate. We live in a very divided, opinionated country with every special interest group loudly crying out for their rights and needs. What a perfect time to demonstrate the love of Christ, by giving up our rights and privileges to serve those around us.
If you are looking for a place to serve others, ACFnorthwest has many opportunities. You have the right to sleep in because your week was long and hard. You have the right to just attend, or to go somewhere larger where no one will notice if you slip in and out for the service. However, if you give up your rights, you can teach little kids, help us set-up and tear down church at Murchison, lead youth or serve on our technical team. When someone from our community visits our new church, feels welcomed, their kids have a great experience and they want to come back, your choice to be a slave to all is bringing people to Christ!