Be great. These are words of challenge, but they are also certainly words of invitation. These are words that Jesus says to His followers seeking places of honor in the Kingdom He is ushering into this world.
In Matthew 20, two of Jesus’ followers essentially ask, “Can we be great?” In response, Jesus doesn’t rebuke them for desiring greatness. He simply gives a new definition of greatness to His followers that should lead to love. Jesus came to clarify that greatness doesn’t come from position or status but from willingness to serve others. “The greatest among you will be your servant” (Matthew 20:26). By this new definition of greatness, Martin Luther King Jr. would later say as he continued a movement to give voice to the voiceless, “Anyone can be great.”
But this is not simply an idea that Jesus delivered, it was a life He lived and invited others into. Directly after this definition of greatness is given, Jesus shows what greatness looks like. As He is walking on his way to Jerusalem to sacrifice all for the sake of all, He sees two men in need. And He shows us the value of being interruptible. While the disciples urge Jesus forward as if to say, “Jesus, we have important business. We have an agenda. We have a schedule. We don’t have time for this,” Jesus stops. And He asks these two men in need, “What do you want Me to do for you?” Jesus listened, had compassion on them, touched them, and healed them.
He stopped, and He asked, “What do you want Me to do for you?”
This is what greatness looks like.
This is what we want to be about as His family, His church in our city: people interruptible by those in need.
And this is why we do niceSERVE twice a year.
We create partnerships with organizations in our city that are doing Christ-honoring work and twice a year come together as a church to serve with these organizations for three hours. We ask them, “What do you want us to do for you?” and form projects of multiple types in multiple places throughout our city that you can sign up and participate in at niceSERVE.
Our hope is that by stopping and asking, “What do you want me to do for you?” we can make our city look more like what God intended when He spun the world into existence and said it was good.
We hope that everyone who calls Summit their church home—and hopefully some who don’t—will participate in niceSERVE. We hope you sign up for and participate in niceSERVE because it is fun to meet new people, get a free t-shirt, get your hands dirty together, eat a great lunch together, and get connected with a great non-profit organization with which you could continue to serve. But more than anything else, we hope you participate in niceSERVE because you can be great.