When you think of great leaders, who do you think of? Perhaps your mind goes to presidents we’ve had: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Barak Obama, and I’m sure we could all name others that we consider great leaders. Or perhaps you would go to leaders of movements like Mahatma Ghandi, Mother Theresa, or Martin Luther King, Jr.
When you think of great leaders in the early church, what names come to mind?
Peter? Paul? John?
One could perhaps name anyone of the disciples, Judas who betrayed Christ though would likely not be the choice. But one could make an argument that he too was a leader in some fashion. Yet clearly not the type we might aspire to.
We could name leaders that were egotistical. We could name leaders that were arrogant beyond compare. We could think of leaders that demanded allegiance and in the words of our passage this morning, “lorded it over their followers.”
That’s not what Jesus is speaking of here as a leader.
Mark 10:42 (ESV)
“You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.
And he goes on from there in verse 43
But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,
Jesus sets the whole idea of leadership upside down, when he says that the leaders among you must be servants, they must serve. It’s not an authority of position or title, but it is a leadership by service.
and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.
And he closes with speaking of Himself.
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
To offer oneself up for others is to lead.
I think of those empowered with leadership in our church, think of our elders:
Cami - serving faithfully in worship. Leading in our music, selecting songs, and so much more that we never see.
Teresa - serving as part of personnel, and finances. Again, serving behind the scenes, but her service is invaluable.
Lance - faithfully leading Bible studies, helping with building and grounds, and our back up sound guy.
Scott - building and grounds, helping in worship running sound, setting up screens and video. You don’t see how much he does.
Natalie - does so much with our building rental groups, finances, and of course we can’t forget the elf squad. As if that’s not enough, she also serves Camp Sound View.
And though he’s passed now, I can’t forget Darrell who came to this church and jumped in to serve. Helping Scott with building maintenance and all of us with so much.
There’s Kari - who has served as our clerk of session since I came here. She helps prepare the slides for worship, leads Bible study, and keeps us inline with the presbytery requirements.
And then there are others, Lisa, our faithful pianist and one of our Deacons.
Ruth our faithful office manager and bulletins.
Rayona our custodian and my prayer warrior preparing us to hear the message.
Drew who reads our Scriptures sharing his gift of such a strong voice.
Our worship team: Cami, Lisa, Jodie, Rita, Kari, Katie, and Steve.
I could go on, with our Deacons, Rita, Debbie, Lisa, Jen, Katie, Sharon, Beverly - talk about behind the scenes. Do we know what they all do? They make sure our congregation and our community is cared for. They serve as ministers among us.
Folks this is servant leadership. People offering up the gifts they have to serve the greater life of the church.
Paul wrote to the Ephesians 4:11-12
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
He wrote to the Corinthian Church. 1 Cor 12:4-11
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
A Servants Heart
A Servants Heart
John C. Maxwell once wrote regarding leaders, “find good people and turn them loose.” One of the great joys of being in this church is that it is full of good people with a heart for service.
Our nominating committee is currently working to fill our leadership roles in Deacon and Elder. And I know that some of you are perhaps more “behind the scenes” types, and would not necessarily step forward to say, I can do that. But I’m going to ask you, if you are interested in serving, let us know. Leadership in these positions is not for everyone. Still, I know that if you are looking for a place to serve, we can help you find a place. And, we’re open to new ministries too!
I firmly believe that God has given this church the means by which to carry out the ministry entrusted to it. I also believe there is more ministry out there God would like us to rise to.
If you’re looking to help discern what your gifts are, and how you might serve God in our congregation and beyond, please come see me. I’d like to help you. I have a very simple survey that can help point you in the right direction and at least get you started.
During this Lenten season, I have personally been spending a lot of time reflecting on the cross, and the person of Jesus. He servants heart certainly has stood out. A few days ago the Holy Spirit laid this passage on my heart:
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Everything, everything we do as followers of Christ, as children of God, ultimately must be to the glory of God the Father. It’s never about us, It’s about God.
To the praise of His glorious grace. AMEN