Before my husband, Mark, and I began working at the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary, he worked for eighteen years at Taco Bell. His passion for tacos remains strong, and he often knows exactly where friends of the Seminary live or have lived based upon the nearest Taco Bell to their home! He loved the company and the food, and he would still eat there every day! He has some great stories to tell about customers over the years, but what sticks out in my mind was his servant approach to leadership. I was once asked why he was always working on the line since he was in management. Why didn’t he just manage from his office?
Because, when there are tacos to be made, a faithful manager makes them.
My assignments here at RPTS include being the Director of Financial Aid, and one aspect of this role includes assigning students to tasks in our work study program. These students fulfill vital roles which help to keep the Seminary going: exterior maintenance, including lawn care and painting; interior maintenance, including cleaning the kitchen, vacuuming, and collecting trash; and sometimes, cleaning toilets – perhaps not everyone’s favorite task!
But, when there are toilets to be cleaned, a faithful student worker cleans them.
And as this important work is assigned at RPTS, I also watch how the workers complete their tasks. Are they quick to finish and move on, or are they thorough, looking around to see if there is something else to be done? Some students might prefer what they consider to be a “better” assignment, such as helping in the library or serving as a teaching assistant to a professor. Yet, there are stories of past presidents of the Seminary stoking the coal of the furnace to heat the building in the winter and pictures of presidents flipping the hamburgers at the end-of-year picnic in the spring. Yes, I watch the students to see if they have a faithful, servant’s heart. Why? Well, these men are in training to be future pastors, called upon to shepherd God’s people faithfully. And the Bible teaches us that “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much” (Luke 16:10). And these men will also be called upon to present themselves to God, workers who rightly handle the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).
And when the word needs to be proclaimed, a faithful preacher handles it rightly.
And, while I’m thinking particularly of our students at this time of year, each of us is called upon to labor faithfully. As Paul has encouraged us, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Col. 3:23-24).
You might be making change in a bank; you might be changing a diaper (again!); you might be changing an electrical panel. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart.
Because, when the Lord gives his people work, faithful servants do it!
And King Jesus, the Master who owns everything, is watching. May we all desire to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”