Signs of a True Servant of God

Jun 18, 2024 | Dennis Heppner, Lifestyle

true servant of God

The term “servant of the Lord” should not be merely a title of those in ministry. It is not a title that can prevent others from criticizing you or disagreeing with you. It’s not a title to be used to manipulate, coerce, or shame people into respecting and obeying you. I once knew a pastor who manipulated every church council decision by saying, “The Lord spoke to me last night and this is what we are supposed to do.” Shameful!



In Paul’s exhortation to his spiritual son Timothy, 2 Timothy 2:24 uses the term “servant of the Lord.” The Greek word “doulos” in this verse means slave/servant. In other words, being a bondslave of Christ — bought and paid for, and with complete loyalty and love for Christ. Timothy was to serve the Lord as his spiritual father did — with his whole heart. “God’s servant must not be argumentative, but a gentle listener and a teacher who keeps cool, working firmly but patiently with those who refuse to obey.”

Here are some signs of a true servant of the Lord. Would you like to be a servant of God? Try rating yourself 1-10 on each one of these characteristics of a person with a true servant’s heart.

1. Seek first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33).

The servant of God must seek FIRST the kingdom of God and kingdom values in all decisions. It’s never about us.

2. Be a servant of all (Matthew 20:26-28).

Jesus said it clearly. “The greatest among you will be the servant of all.” We don’t get to pick and choose who we will minister to.

3. Look to our Master to reward us (Matthew 25:21).

We must be focused on our rewards in eternity, not here.

4. Serve others and, in doing so, serve the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 25:31-40).

All service is service to God, even our service to others. The servant of the Lord recognizes they serve God in everything they do.

5. Deny self, taking up our cross daily and following our Master, Jesus (Luke 9:23).

Each servant of the Lord does carry a cross. That cross is different for different people and for different circumstances in ministry. There is a personal price paid by every servant of God. Our wills may clash sometimes, but a true servant obeys the Master.

6. Follow the example of Jesus — living an unselfish life, and choosing to serve rather than being served. (Luke 22:27).

To be a servant of God is not a place of prestige. Never are we too “big” to pick up a broom or help the ministry in practical ways.

7. Give generously, knowing it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20: 35).

Generosity is a quality of love. It is going beyond the minimum and giving from the heart all you can for Him.

8. Be faithful when entrusted with something (1 Corinthians 4:2).

Keeping your word. Finishing your assignments. Standing for what is right even when unpopular. Holding to your conviction – yet always in a spirit of love.

9. Carry the burdens of others (Galatians 6:2).

The servant lifts the burdens of others to God in prayer., and at times walks through difficult seasons with others.

10. Humility, gentleness, patience, and bearing with others in love (Ephesians 4:2; 1 John 3:11-24).

Only love can sustain a servant’s attitude. Truthfully at times, people are annoying! Patience can be worn thin but the true servant of the Lord relies on His grace.

11. Work at everything wholeheartedly, because we always work for the Lord and not for men (Colossians 3:23,24; Ephesians 6:6-8).

The servant is found serving. The servant must never be halfhearted in the work they are assigned to.

12. Look to the interests of others, as well as our own interests (Philippians 2:4).

What is best for them? It may not seem to be the best for the servant of the Lord, but doing what is necessary not what is easiest.

13. Desire to please our Lord in all we do (2 Timothy 2:4).

The servant looks to the master for approval, promotion, recognition, and support.

We must be reminded daily that we are called to be “doulos” — servants of God. This means our heart is continually open to Him and our lives are about bringing His life to a dying world.

Dennis Heppner grew up in Canada and was called to ministry as a young boy. Dennis and his wife Denie, who was also called to missions as a child, pastored 4 churches in Canada, but in 1987 the door opened to come to the Philippines as missionaries. They brought their 4 eldest children with them and the kids grew up here. In 2006 they adopted Emma Rose, a special Filipino treasure and a gift from God to their family.

Dennis has been a missionary evangelist in Asia for 25 years. He was the director of LIFESCHOOLS of ministry and pastored 3 churches in the early years of his ministry based in the Philippines. He is currently the founder and President of Developing Effective Leaders (DEL), superintendent of Church of God West Asia, and the founding and lead Pastor of the vibrant, growing Church of God Makati.

Dennis and Denie and their whole family, including Josh and Melody who live in Canada, are committed to missions, leadership, and the call of Christ.

Read more of Ptr. Dennis’ articles HERE!

Help us REFRESH others with the life-giving Word of God today!


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