Pastor Larson’s Corner: Servants

Pastor Larsons Corner

During my teenage years my mother worked for Dayton’s, a major department store in downtown Minneapolis. She enjoyed her work, but one thing that frustrated her was Dayton’s liberal return policy. She worked in dresses and she knew that some people would buy a dress, wear it for an occasion, and then return it to the store with a complaint. The idea that the customer is always right bothered her when she knew otherwise. As it turned out, Dayton’s was way ahead of its time in the area of customer service. Today, every business seminar in the country tries to get businesses to see the importance of putting the customer first. It can be very difficult to convince business owners that their success depends upon good customer service.

Someone else who was way ahead of his time when it comes to serving was Jesus. When His disciples began to argue about who was the greatest among them and who would lead them in the future, Jesus said this: “Anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant.” Jesus surprised His disciples by making it clear that leadership and greatness would come from service.

Traveling the road of servanthood can be a difficult and taxing way to live. Like putting the customer first, it might seem like foolishness to some. During the past few weeks the media has been reflecting upon the life and work of former president Jimmy Carter. After his presidency Carter devoted himself tirelessly to serving others. He journeyed far and wide promoting peace and working to improve habitat for people all over the world. His life of service has set him apart as a world leader and has produced a lasting legacy. President Carter’s life of service can be both an example and an inspiration to all who seek to follow the way of Christ.

Pastor Larson’s Corner is written by Jerry Larson and appears weekly in the Norwegian American Weekly.

Pastor Jerry Larson retired to his cabin in Zimmerman, Minn., after 39 years in parish ministry for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In 2011 he published a book entitled “Speaking the Word Freely: Writing with purpose, preaching with power.” Contact him at

This article originally appeared in the Oct. 2, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.