Have you ever woken up one morning thinking, if a statement was to be released about the summary of your life, how would it read? All of us have been called to serve our generation at any stage of life we are, and the hard truth is, we don’t have eternity to do what we have to do. There is an expiry date.

A generation is defined as:

  • The entire body of individuals born and living at about the same time e.g. born after independence.
  • The term of years, roughly 30 among human beings, accepted as the average period between the birth of parents and the birth of their offspring.
  • A group of individuals, most of whom are the same approximate age, having similar ideas, problems, attitudes etc.

The good news is that there is a group you came on planet earth to serve. The interesting thing about different generations, for instance, is that generations appreciate music differently and generations are marked by specific things. I was recently speaking at a conference of young people. When I mentioned the year I got married they all started laughing because by then they were not yet born. Then I got amazed with the kind of music sang at this conference and even the way it was done. I will confess, that I felt like a “fish out of water”.

When we talk about serving. Basically, we speak of things such as rendering assistance; to be of use or help; to earn and distribute say portions of food and drink to a patron or a specific table, as a waiter or waitress; to have a definite use. Therefore, to serve your generation it is important that you must underst and the factors that have shaped your generation and to be able to offer answers to its challenges. If you try to serve everybody you will fail to serve any generation

I get amazed with the whole notion of service but some key questions to think about would include: Are you willing to experience the pain of your generation? Are you willing and ready to identify with the challenges of your generation? Baptism refers to identification i.e. dying and resurrection. Different generations have had their own experiences including tragedy, pain, loss etc. but in my own experience, I came to realize, albeit late, that all this was preparing me for service.

So, I would like to say that whatever experience you are going through right now, is not in vain. You cannot serve people you don’t identify with. For instance, if you have been under a stepmother before, you will underst and stepchildren. You must be ready to serve your way to greatness – every great person is a great servant. You can’t get into greatness until you are serving. Underst and the circumstances that have shaped the generation, if you are to be successful.

He who wants to be great let him be a servant. You can’t be great if you are arrogant. A servant stays at the bottom not at the top. If you want to put water into a cup, you put the cup under the tap not on top of the tap. There is greatness in service. A servant is a waiter. A servant is patient. A servant waits for instructions.

It is important to underst and and know that service does not mean the same thing to everybody. Service goes with dedication. Service is not a class job. Service requires men and women of good reputation. Service requires wisdom. As a servant, your emotions are not relevant because sometimes you end up serving people that are not grateful. That said, you need to also underst and that you will not have all the time, all the resources to get going. Time lost is never gained. Therefore, focus was very important. You may not cover the whole world. Determine what your first port of call should be.

If you are going to serve your generation – it is important to focus – go to the people who need what you have. If not, you may end up being despised and not appreciated. Ask yourself are the people eager to listen to me or not?

Go to people you are compassionate for. Is it widows, orphans etc.? Compassion is important because sometimes the people will annoy you, but you must still serve. I get amazed how people in our generation have become less and less compassionate.

Serve the people you are most prepared to serve – your training, experiences, abilities equip you to do. Your desire could be there, but do you have the ability? Having a burden for something sometimes does not mean you should go and serve. One may ask, what is a person’s greatest ability? The answer is attitude. The attitude you receive with is the attitude you will give with. There are people who are keener on better conditions of service but not committed. Service is very important – stay within your area of service.

Identify the mission to commit your service to. Don’t do things because everybody is doing it. Don’t enter the areas you are not committed to.

Establish the priorities of your mission. Your service is shaped by the people you are called to serve. When you try to make a people who are not your people they will trample you under foot.

The greatest success in life is just to become who you are. Nobody can beat you at you. If you spend your life comparing yourself to other people – you won’t be focused and there will be no success.

Be ready to pay the price to serve those you want to serve. It’s expensive to be a servant. If you are going to be a leader then your resources will be spent on these. Service must always be excellent service. Haven’t you seen that if you go to a place and get good service, you will definitely go back.

Be the best servant wherever you find yourself in the position to serve. Don’t seek recognition – labor in secret and people will recognize you.

MacDuff Phiri