by John Lambert
I am honored to be able to review this chapter of Pastor Dino Rizzo’s new book “Servolution.” Being a native of South Louisiana myself, I know first hand the reputation of Healing Place Church as a church that doesn’t just talk about serving, but actually does it.
Before leaving for Thailand, while visiting family, my wife and I were able to serve right along side the HPC team as they passed out water, roof tarps, food, and hot lunches to the people who had recently been affected by Hurricane Gustav. The attitude we saw displayed by the members was upbeat, positive, and contagious even thought the circumstances were tough.
The leaders of this church lead by example and not merely by casting vision. I know of one of the campus pastors of this community, he also happens to be a friend of mine, who leads a group of fired up servants to mow the lawns of widows in their local community. I know that this Pastor does this week in and week out simply out of a love for serving these women. This type of heart is seen throughout the congregation.
I once heard of another Pastor from HPC ministering to the homeless of downtown Baton Rouge, even spending a night sleeping on the streets, in order to fully identify with what these people were facing. There are multitudes of untold stories like this coming out of this church. From ministering to orphans and the elderly, to helping single moms, to feeding the poor (some awesome Cajun food by the way); this church is getting it done in Jesus name.
In Chapter 8 of Servolution, Pastor Dino seeks to help us understand that there is hidden treasure in each of our communities no matter where we are in the world. He reminds us that a revolution in serving starts with people, right here at home, right now. It’s not about geography. Every person is important to God, right here and now. He goes on to remind us that serving is not something we compartmentalize, but it’s a way of life.
As a missionary, I really appreciate a quote Dino included from the great missionary pioneer C.T. Studd, who said, “The light that shines the farthest will shine the brightest at home.” This emphasis is important because cross-cultural service is not a place for people who couldn’t cut it “back home.” It is a place for the best and the brightest our churches have to offer, people who go not to be served, but to serve and give their lives for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Pastor Dino goes on to check the motivations of our heart. He shows us the difference between simple acts of service and simple acts of kindness and demonstrates what the difference is between the two. He reminds us that we are called to serve the poor, which means that many times they have nothing to offer us in return for the kindness we show them in Jesus name.
I think this is so important and relevant to us in these days because I have a seen a trend in many churches where service and outreach are only targeted towards those who have the ability to add value back to our churches. We would never say that we believe this or hold it as a value, but our values can be seen in the types of people who are attending our services on a regular basis or where and how our outreach/missions budget is spent.
Finally, we are reminded that like anything that is worth doing or that has eternal value, a servolution will cost those who choose to ignite it. But like everything in the upside down Kingdom of God, it is in dying to self that we live, and in losing that we gain.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to be challenged to check both their personal and organizational serve. With Jesus reminding us that he who is greatest in the Kingdom of God is not the one who; gathers the most people, has the best facilities and tech, the most cutting edge services, and the most relevant and engaging messages, but the one who is the servant of all.
Get the book:(Note: Buying it here helps the bibledude feed the family! Thanks! 🙂 )
About the contributor:
John Lambert is an aspiring servant who is originally from South Louisiana. He is married to Jacqueline, a father of two boys, friend of social media, networker, and cross cultural communicator serving the Kingdom of God in the Kingdom of Thailand. When in the States, John calls Freedom House Church in Charlotte, NC home.
Web Site: www.spreadtheflame.com