Much of the world has been brought together through the death of Queen Elizabeth II. After a 70-year reign, the longest in British history, many are mourning her passing and remembering her significant accomplishments.
How did she stay at the task for that long? How did she remain faithful for all those years? To understand her character, you don’t have to look any further than the speech she gave on her 21st birthday in Cape Town, South Africa.
“I serve” is a short but powerful statement of her life’s goal and purpose. Whenever she wondered what to do, that simple phrase guided her. It was her dedication to the idea that her life wasn’t a life of privilege, but one of service.
When Charles, her eldest son became the Prince of Wales in 1969, he was given a ring with the symbol of his new title and position. And now that William has become the Prince of Wales, that ring and symbol are passed on to him.
That symbol is called the Prince of Wales’s Feathers. It consists of three white ostrich feathers coming out from a gold crown with a blue ribbon. On that ribbon is the motto that is to represent the entire life of the Prince of Wales. It says “Ich dien” which means “I serve.”
Yes, the Prince does enjoy the benefits and resources that come with the title. There is also a certain amount of respect that goes along with the title. But all of this is to be used in service to his people and his country.
And that service isn’t just some theory out there, somewhere. Service isn’t something just to be talked about. Or written about. But true service, real service is always, always, always practical. It accomplishes something real and tangible.
While we may not hold any earthy royal titles, we have been given a heavenly title. An eternal, imperial position.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.1 Peter 2:9 NIV
In Christ, we’ve been chosen and appointed as a royal priesthood. This royalty isn’t to just sit around on a throne while people come up and bow in front of us. No, this royal priesthood has been given for action.
It is an office and place to serve and speak for God the Father, Jesus His Son, and the church, his people. And why? Because we were in darkness, but through Jesus, we’ve been transported into God’s wonderful light.
And I can’t think of a more strategic place to speak and serve God’s wonderful light than in Small Groups.
The question is how are we going to use his royal appointment within the Small Groups God has given to us? How are we to use the position and power He’s given within Small Groups? Are we going to direct His provision inwards or outwards? For our own benefit or for the benefit of those God has given us to serve.
Here are three ways to keep the “I Serve” motto front and center of our Small Groups.
First – It’s all about Jesus. As we think about, pray for, and make plans for Small Groups, Jesus must be the absolute focal point. Period. There is only one throne, and there’s never any room for two people on that throne. Jesus alone must be on the throne of our life. He must be our Lord, front and center when it comes to our personal live and our position within Small Groups.
Second – It’s all about others. It may sound trite, or a quote from Captain Obvious, but there is no such thing as Small Groups without people. Their welfare, growth, and well-being must be the target all the time. Their flourishing must excite and energize us, or we’re in the wrong business. Seeing their coming to Christ, and maturing into people that reach out to others must knock our sox off.
Third – It’s all about serving. Our attitude within Small Groups, no matter how large or small our role, is to be focused on serving others. It’s never about us. It shouldn’t have even one passing thought about advancing our name, reputation, or power. Our single-minded aim is to meet the needs of the people in Small Groups. And as you model serving, others will see it and want to get in on it.
Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.1 Corinthians 11:1 NIV
Like the Prince of Wales, we too should have a ring on our hand all the time that says, “I Serve.” And more than just on a ring, it should be plastered over every corner of our lives.
Go and make “I Serve” your motto within your Small Groups. You’ll be glad you did. But more importantly, our heavenly Father will also be glad. We all look forward to hearing him say to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Cover Photo provided by rct.uk
 April 21, 1947
 Making the British Commonwealth “an even grander thing – more free, more prosperous, more happy and a more powerful influence for good in the world.”
 Matthew 25:23
Chet Gladkowski is a member of the SGN Communications Team and connects to a wide audience about how a personal, intimate relationship with God through Jesus is our only hope.