How to SERVE People

In the book Discovering Relational Wisdom by Ken Sande we are called to serve by living the Acronym SERVE

 S is for SMILE.

E is for explore and empathize

R is for Reconcile

V is for Value

E is for encourage.

We are called to put wind under the wings of every person we meet.

Let’s Start with a Smile.

Smiling must become a habit. We all know that first impression are huge. If we will show value

By smiling at the person in the workplace, church, store or Home it will serve well the other person.

Matthew 7:12 says “In everything treat people the same way you want them to treat you.”

Smiling turns the temperature down in the room. It shows care and value to the other person.

Proverbs 15:13 says “A joyful heart makes a cheerful face,”

We must be wise and intentional to smile at Home, work, church, the store. Even try to smile while texting. Prayerfully ask God to help you show grace with a smile all the time.

Eagles are often seen soaring at altitudes of two miles. They don’t have the strength or stamina to get to such heights by flapping their wings. So how do they get that high? They catch the updrafts of warm air that lift them to altitudes they could never reach in their own strength.   When we choose to 5, SERVE others we do our part in lifting people to heights they could reach on their own. We accomplish serve by not only smiling but also exploring and empathizing.

E is for Exploring and empathizing.  They occurs when we truly show interest and compassion. Phil 2:4  says look not only after your own interest but also the interest of others. Proverbs 20:5, Romans 12:15 and 1 Peter 3:8 also teaches us to show interest and compassion. Jesus himself showed interest and compassion to individual people throughout the Bible. We must desire to learn:

  1. What are others thinking and feeling?
  2. How can I make the comfortable opening up to me?
  3. What questions can I ask to learn about their values, interests, hopes and struggles.
  4. How can I show genuine empathy and compassion

The letter R stand for reconcile.  We should be a peacemaker to .everyone we meet. If possible as far as it depends to me, be at peace with all people. (Romans 12:18) Several questions we must ask are:

. Is there conflict between us?

. Is there conflict between others?

. What can I do to be reconciled or to help others to be reconciled?

. Is God calling me to confess, correct, forgive or negotiate, or to help others to do so?

. Has God prepared someone’s heart to hear the gospel and be reconciled to God?

It is easy to look at reconciliation through our lenses and miss the need to reconcile with others.

That is why we should ask the Holy Spirit to touch our lives and show us truth about who we must

reconcile with.


The letter v stands for Value. This is a very important peacemaking element. Am I treating others as I want to be treated? As Jesus has treated me? Do I see others as being made in the image of God? How can I express and demonstrate sincere respect, thankfulness, appreciation or admiration for every person I meet?

Recently, Country song writer Toby Keith passed away at age 62 from stomach cancer.  Late night host Stephen Colbert gave a passionate thank you to Toby Keith for valuing him as he hosted the show. Even though they differed on most beliefs and things, Colbert said that he and Keith had become close friends because they chose to value each other. Keith had valued by showing him respect and admiration.

As we read the new testament, we never see a person that Jesus did not value. Children, ladies, the poor, the sick Jesus showed great value. We are shown his value for us as he was born as a baby all the way up to his resurrection and ascension.

The letter e stands for Encourage. This last letter in how to serve others provides courage to others.

What can I say, do, or prepare to benefit them. Proverbs 27:17 says “as iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens one another”.

Encouraging inspires me to reach farther to make a difference in the world, to run from sin, to do the next right thing, and to simply follow Jesus. Like Joseph, may we have the nickname of Barnabbas, which means “son of encouragement”

First started dating Shari, I was intentional in all ways to want to win her over. It was tough work. Likewise we must be intentional to the lost and the saved as we want to serve every person we meet.

The focus of serving can become more than a wish. As we ask the Holy Spirit to put into the desire, consistency and the Heart of Jesus to SERVE every person we meet.


Griff Henderson is the Northwest Regional Ministry Partner for Oklahoma Baptists. Griff can be reached at

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