10 traits of a fruitful Servant
Updated: Sep 15
Our Orthodox church encourages her children to provide services and ministries to guide and support the congregation with their spiritual journey. However, we often see some of these services eventually die out. The reason is that these services are based on a weak foundation. The most important basis of a strong and a fruitful service is having faithful servants. Here are the characteristics of a true Christian Orthodox servant:
Jesus said "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John13:35)
Also St. Paul Said " And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing." (1 Corinthians 13:2)
If a servant has all the talents that a service needs but doesn't love his peers or whom he serves, then his service is pointless. When a servant truly loves God, he will strive to show that love to everyone around him. With his love, he will encourage others to know and follow Christ.
Serving is an act of mercy. The Bible says "Let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins." (James 5:20)
Jesus was very kind to the woman caught in the act. “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” (John 8:7)
Our Lord Jesus Christ, the good Shepherd, searched and brought back the lost sheep. A faithful servant is the one who is merciful and understanding; A gentle soul who brings back the lost to their Savior and is far away from judging anyone.
3. A disciple
Discipleship is essential in our Orthodox faith. A servant is always a disciple who works on edifying himself and always seeking guidance. A disciple will happily accept criticism and learn from his mistakes.
4. Self Aware
A true servant can't be self centered or feeling superior above all. A servant who thinks he makes the best decisions or is the best at what he does in the service, is hindered from growing and improving. A good servant is the one who understands his capabilities and admits when he is wrong.
5. A father-like figure
A sign of a faithful servant is the one who has close relationship with the people whom he serves; a strong bond like a Father to his children. A relationship where the father loves unconditionally, yet also disciplines at times. This strong relationship helps the ministered to grow closer to God and eventually become faithful servants.
6. Giving with Nothing in Return
When someone serves, he doesn't expect praise or gratitude for his service. Instead he knows he is working towards entering the Kingdom of Heaven and that is the only gratification he only seeks.
Discrimination destroys the service and pushes people away. How awful would it be to discriminate against the poor or the trouble maker, the ones who need the service the most? A servant who favors certain group of people, can lead others to leave the church. Discrimination is dangerous especially at young age.
A servant who is simple in his ways and in his teachings, is a joy to those whom he serves with and is easy to capture the hearts of those who he serves. Our Lord Jesus Christ always spoke in parables.
And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”
He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. (Matthew 12:10-11)
"Many are the victims she has brought down; her slain are a mighty throng." (Proverbs 7:26)
A humble servant knows his weakness and understands that he doesn't deserve to serve but is serving by the grace of God. The servant understands that all the talents come from God, to Him all the glory. A self righteous servant will fall into becoming a complainer, a critique, and a judgmental servant
A good servant, who is a peacemaker, avoids gossip and is always working towards the unity and peace among the servants
Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. (Mathew 5:9)