SMMS Dean of Chapel and Head of Formation, Rev Luvuyo Sifo has urged new seminarians to be servants on whom God’s mark of ownership rests, servants about whom God delights and servants upon whom God’s Spirit rests.

Rev Sifo was delivering a message of welcome to the 2020 Intake, on 16 January 2020.

He said, “Anyone who is tasked with the mission of bringing justice to the world should carry, as his or her sign of authority, the approval of God as God’s own. Anyone who enters into ministry of whatever form or shape should enter that ministry knowing full well that God has a claim upon his or her life.

“There are many men and women who are in the ministry yet God does not know them. If you are going to partner with God in the ministry of bringing justice in this world, please make sure that God’s stamp of ownership is upon you because, unless that is the case, the ministry you enter will not be God’s but yours.”

The second attribute of the servant, Rev Sifo said, is that God delights in him.

“So delighted is God in the servant that God upholds and elevates him. So pleased is God that God becomes the pillar upon which the servant leans in times of stress and tribulation. The servant keeps bouncing like a tennis ball because God upholds him,” the Dean said.

The third attribute of the servant, he said, is that the servant has God’s Spirit in him.

Rev Sifo said, “The Spirit is poured in proportion to the task that lies ahead. If the servant must speak the truth, heal, prophesy, preach or teach, he or she is given enough measure of the Spirit to enable her to do that task with conviction.”

He said the seminary is a place where they will be reminded that they belong to God, that God delights in them and that God has poured God’s Spirit upon them for the sake of bringing justice into the world.

“You will be reminded that you have done nothing to deserve to be here; God has done everything. You will be reminded over and over again that your response to this amazing grace is that you should seek after a Godly character,” he said.

Rev Sifo said the vocation of servanthood is about always putting other people’s interests ahead of our own.

He said, “The ministry to which we are called is not for people who attract attention to themselves; it is for people who quietly point beyond themselves to the true saviour of the world. We should always look out for the vulnerable, the weak, the rejected and dejected. We should not instil fear into other people. We should be gentle. We should be approachable. The ministry of the servant is captured well by the threefold Methodist Rule of Life. Do no harm. Do good. Love God.”

He ended by encouraging them not to falter or be discouraged until justice has been established on earth.

“We should not give up. We should not hang our gloves before the boxing match is over. We should be stubborn in faith, resilient in hope and determined in purpose because he who has called us is faithful,” Rev Sifo concluded.