If the Church is truly the body of Christ, who was the suffering servant, it must be the servant church. It must herald the Kingdom of God in deed as well as word, through her ministry of reconciliation and healing.
Paul instructs us in Philippians 2:6 to remember that “Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men“. The Church must, therefore, never elevate itself to a divine position but must always be humble and servant hearted. Robert Adolfs (author of The Grave of God) says that the church must renounce its claims to power and honour, as Christ did. It must not rule by power but should attract by love.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “The Church is the Church onle when it exists for others . . . The Church must share in the secular problems of ordinary human life, not dominating, but helping and serving”. The Church existed for the sole purpose of its own glory for far too long. The preservation of the privileged position of many of its more affluent members was the main priority. Seeking to serve the lost and the poor was, in many circumstances, only a means of preserving the status quo. The Church has begun, and must continue, to realise that its purpose is to serve – to be the hands and feet of Christ in this world.
There is a danger, of course, that serving the World becomes more important than serving God. The Church then becomes nothing more than another charitable organisation. It must remember that it is to be submissive to God and God alone. It serves both material and spiritual needs. It serves the world through serving Him first.