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Servanthood as Worship: The Privilege of Life in a Local Church Paperback – December 1, 2010
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From the Back Cover
"In an age where the church can be likened to Cinderella - beautiful, but largely ignored and forgotten - Nate Palmer's brief book forces us to rethink both the church and our relationship to her. In an age where egocentrism ensures we sing, 'O say, can you see - what's in it for me?' on a weekly basis, Palmer forces us to say instead, 'How can I best serve the church?' Looking at the needs of others rather than one's own is possibly the most serious deficiency in the church today. Reading this book will help redress the deficiency. I heartily recommend it."
- Derek W H Thomas, Richards Professor of Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary (Jackson); Minister of Teaching, First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, MS
"Think of these pages as a handbook. Put this handbook into the hands of your people and you will give them a sustainable, practical vision for serving in the local church that is powered by grace. Along the way, they will also pick up a mini theological education."
- Justin Buzzard, pastor, San Francisco Bay Area; author of Date Your Wife, BuzzardBlog.com
"In our media-crazed, me-first culture, the art of the basin and the towel has been shoved off onto those who get paid to serve - certainly a call to serve in humility can't be God's will for all of us, or could it? In this helpful little book, Nate Palmer gets at the heart of our resistance and portrays our dear Savior's humiliation in his acts of service for us - not only as our example but also as our righteousness. I strongly recommend this book."
- Elyse Fitzpatrick, author of Because He Loves Me and Give Them Grace
About the Author
Nate Palmer and his wife, Steph, have three young kids and live in Dallas. Nate currently works for the consulting firm HP Enterprise Services as a Manufacturing Practice Principal. He is pursuing an M.A. from Reformed Theological Seminary and his articles have appeared in Modern Reformation and Reformed Perspectives Magazine.
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Top customer reviews
In his brief book titled, Servanthood as Worship Nate Palmer not only challenges where the Christian's primary service should be located (local church), but also provides a foundation for why the Christian can serve in any area of ministry, no matter how mundane it may seem.
The foundation of the book is found in chapter four where Palmer addresses the topic servanthood as worship:
If our God were not glorious in both his character and works, where would be the joy in serving him? What would there be to excite our emotions, to provoke us to wonder and amazement, or to inspire us to serve? If our God had no glory in himself, he would merely be bizarre and terrifying, a despot who is respected only because he's powerful...But God is glorious, and his glory is the inexhaustible full and the thrilling focus of Christian service (40-41).
The author completes the book by expanding on the biblical insights of puritan pastor, Thomas Watson.
I find this book to be one of the best books on serving in the local church. The author grounds service in the gospel and the glory of God. It is perfect for laity. As a pastor, it will be the book I require my ministry leaders to read and the book I recommend to my congregation.
The book is a fantastic Biblical look at servanthood from a very theological point of view. Nate Palmer doesn't just simply say that Christians should serve, but he takes the time to build his case on why Christians should serve. Ultimately, Palmer's reasoning for why we should serve is wholly grounded in the servanthood of Jesus Christ.
The book dives so much deeper than other books I've read on the subject (for example, The Volunteer Revolution: Unleashing the Power of Everybody by Willow Creek's Bill Hybels). We don't simply serve because it feels good, because it gives us an in for the gospel or because the Pastor says so. Palmer lays a beautiful groundwork for Christian service in the following 9 chapters:
* Servanthood: The Ministry of All Believers
* Lineage: Service Began with God in Christ
* Context: The Local Church is Our Base for Service
* Glory: God's Character and Works
* Appreciation: I Can Serve Because I Appreciate Who God Is, Who I Am, and What He Has Done for Me
* Adoration: I can Serve as I Desire and Enjoy God's Active Presence
* Affection: I Can Serve Motivated by Love for the Saved and Unsaved
* Subjection: I Can Serve Because I Do Not Belong to Myself
* Perspective: Building the Church Eternal
The writing is well done, and straight to the point (only about 100 pages in print). While each chapter opens with a clever connection to the author's own genealogy or the career of a pro baseball player, these themes are quickly connected to the purpose of the chapter in an interesting, meaningful way.
The pages are absolutely dripping with Scripture, and powerful quotes from classic theological works and church history. The book was a joy to read - I finished it in just a couple of nights.
"Next, that being said about Cruciform Press, I want to feature Servanthood as Worship by giving a couple quotes from the book and providing a brief review of the book.
"Nate Palmer crafts so many memorable statements about servanthood that it is no trouble to find nuggets of gold throughout the book. Here are just a few of the most memorable quotes:
"God simply wants our worship. Our perfection he already supplied in Christ."
"Even the smallest, most mundane act can be worship. Christian service is worship in action."
"Likewise, a Christian without some evidence of genuine affection for other people is also a contradiction."
"Biblical service is the tangible expression of biblical love."
"Some acts of service God calls us to may be heroic, but most are quite simple. Meals do not cook themselves, lawns do not mow themselves, and clothes do not give themselves away."/
"We engrave people's hearts with God's love by earnestly seeking to love and serve them as Christ has done for us."
"Most of the time, we want to exercise self-rule, not self-control."
"For the Christian, therefore, self-control involves obeying God (a positive act) so that we might get better at disobeying our sinful nature (a negative act)."
"Serving now helps to prepare us for heaven later, where we will serve God around his throne forever."
"It is our astonishing privilege to help build now what God will perfect and sustain forever."
I really recommend this book. It brings attention to an often overlooked and under-rated spiritual discipline. Palmer's biblical and theological discussion on the connection of servanthood and worship will certainly change your perspective on what appears to be the most mundane task. The path Palmer takes the reader through in order to see the compelling value of servanthood worship is well thought out. I especially appreciated the look at lineage, emphasizing who we take our cue in service from, namely Jesus. His chapter on glory especially gives cause for reflection. Recognizing that ultimately our acts of service bring God to glory is a wonder.
Finally, Palmer does an excellent job of exposing the heart issue that prevents us from service. Aptly, he points out that it is a struggle where we have to put to death our own kingdom ambition for God's Kingdom work.Servanthood as Worship: The Privilege of Life in a Local Church