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Celebration of Discipline

Ten years ago, Richard Foster, in his book Celebration of Discipline, put together a brief comparison of the characteristics of service that is focused more upon ourselves and service that is focused more upon Christ. In paraphrased form, it becomes a self-help test worth taking. Why not measure your clarity of vision against his conclusions'

Self-focused service is concerned with impressive gains. It enjoys serving when the service is titanic or growing in that direction. Christ-focused service doesn’t distinguish between small and large. It indiscriminately welcomes all opportunities to serve.

Self-focused service requires external reward, appreciation, and applause. Christ-focused service rests content in hiddenness. The divine nod of approval is sufficient.

Self-focused service is highly concerned about results. It becomes disillusioned when results fall below expectations. Christ-focused service is free of the need to calculate results; it delights only in service.

Self-focused service is affected by feelings. Christ-focused service ministers simply and faithfully because there is a need. The service disciplines the feelings.

Self-focused service insists on meeting the need; it demands the opportunity to help. Christ-focused service listens with tenderness and patience. It can serve by waiting in silence.

This list offers a way to begin refocusing our blurred image of Christ in the midst of ministry.

Paul D. Robbins, Leadership, 1988, p. 146