Dino Rizzo, pastor of Healing Place Church (Baton Rouge, LA), conducted a blog tour recently introducing his new book Servolution: Starting a Church Revolution through Serving. Here are excerpts from blogger questions:
Dino, there is an idea out there, held by many Christians, that the job of the Church is to meet peoples’ spiritual needs (salvation) and then, if we have extra time or money laying around, meet their physical needs. How do you address this mindset?
I don’t believe we should have to choose between the two. At the end of the day, we want to see people come to Jesus. And serving is a means to that end but it isn’t the end itself. What we really want to do is help the cause of Christ come alive in people’s hearts, but the path to that is serving people where they are. It’s all one package – one goal – seeing people live out God’s plan for their lives. And we need to be willing to do whatever it takes, whenever it is needed.
What kind of potential does the servolution vision have if it is trully embraced by the Church (capital C)?
In John 13, Jesus was getting ready to hand off the work of the ministry to His disciples, and He wanted to make sure they got serving right. If they were going to be the ones to establish and continue the work after He returned to Heaven, they needed to really grasp the concept of serving. And so He chose to demonstrate it one more time to them through a footwashing lesson. These men would revolutionize the world – and the book of Acts story shows that they got His message. If you want to be great, be the least. Serve each other. And this truth has the same potential today for the Church as it had then.
Serving isn’t a new idea – Jesus launched the Church with a serving lesson. When a serovlution culture gets in a church serving gets in people’s lives, and when that happens, the potential is there for them to live out the story of the book of Acts.
The more we serve others, the more we look like the Church Jesus had in mind.
Dino what are your thoughts on inviting those who have yet to stumble into Jesus to serve along side of us? And what are some good ways of doing so without it being too weird as our intentions in serving may not entirely overlap?
If someone wants to serve alongside you in an outreach, there’s a good chance they’re already curious about something they’ve seen in you. Sure, there’s a chance their purpose isn’t the same as yours, but I’d guess the root of their intentions is to find out what in the world is making these people want to get out on a hot day and give away free bottles of water – no strings attached. I’m not saying you shouldn’t use wisdom – don’t put someone you don’t know in charge of children’s church.
Leadership carries with it a different requirement than simply joining you on an outreach. But by all means, I’d encourage you to take people with you on an outreach who haven’t made the decision to follow Christ yet. It just might be what draws them all the way across the line.
How have you been able to fight against the tendency Christians have to look for churches to serve them rather than as the church willing to serve the world?
Servolution is largely based on the principles Jesus demonstrated and taught in John 13. He and the disciples were in a borrowed room for a meal, which meant that one of them would need to take the towel and basin and wash the others’ feet – the role of the lowest-ranked servant. Each of them passed up the opportunity – until Jesus, their leader, took on himself the towel and began washing their feet. Jesus didn’t sit back and wait to be served. He served others willingly – and this is the example he set for us that we have tried to unpack in the book. Servolution isn’t just doing some cool outreaches. It is a culture to be developed in you, your staff and leaders. And when you serve others, it is amazing the life that will begin to well up inside you.
Since that’s true, I guess we don’t exactly fight against the tendency we all have to just be served. We just serve and when people begin to see the joy and excitement and life that there is in serving, it usually is enough to make them want to be a part.
Rockbridge Seminary students who have completed the online seminary course “The Theology and Purpose of Ministry” may be helped by exploring the Servolution website and reading Servolution: Starting a Church Revolution through Serving.