This past weekend I travelled to Portland, Oregon where I had the privilege to fellowship with youth pastors, youth leaders and men of God with a heart to serve the Lord. The seminars we attended focused on one theme: How to be a Godly servant in your local church. We discussed many great points and perspectives on leadership and looked to God’s word for teaching and examples.
In Mark 10:42-45 (ESV) we find the words of Jesus on the topic of leadership (and there are many more texts on the subject, this being one example). Jesus said, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus informs his disciples that their concept of leadership, based on the common structures of the world, are not God’s concept of leadership. The disciples of Christ may have been surprised, or even disappointed to learn that the place of honor God calls his servants to are not positions from which to “lord” over anyone, nor are they positions from which to exercise authority over others, but they are positions and places from which to serve and sacrifice.
There are many leaders out there, even in ministry, who know how to give commands, manage, delegate, and “lead” – however they define that term. There’s nothing wrong with that, but the heart behind it all is evident in service and sacrifice.
In one of the greatest examples of service and the heart of a servant, we find Jesus kneeling before his disciples to wash their feet (Matthew 26, Luke 22, John 13). How would your ministry be different if you were a servant first and leader by example, not just by title?
And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” –Mark 9:35
Executive Pastor, Bridge Church