We Desire to Be Served Rather than Serve
On the night Jesus was to be betrayed, there arose a dispute amongst the disciples as to who was the greatest among them. Jesus answered them saying,
“The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’ But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant. For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves.” (Luke 22:25-27)
When we allow others to call us teacher, leader, and father, we open ourselves up to the temptation that we are to be served more than we are to serve. Jesus notes that those in the world who have authority are call “Benefactors,” in other words, the leaders of this world are the one who benefit from their leadership. For example, many of the most dictatorial leaders today are also the wealthiest amongst those whom they lead. Their leadership has gained for them great wealth; often at the expense of those whom they have led. Jesus tells us clearly that this should not be so in the Body of Christ. Those who lead in God’s church are to lead in a way as to serve others before themselves. The benefactors of their leadership should be those in their charge, not themselves.
If you are a leader in the church, ask yourself these following questions:
- How much effort in the church goes to supporting and growing my ministry as opposed to the ministries of others in my church?
- Do your corporate expressions and meetings center around your gifting and ministries more than the ministries and gifting of others?
- Do others in the church serve to support your ministry more than you serve to support others ministries?
- How much attention in the church is given to your personal preferences, likes, and comfort?
I have actually known some pastors that even have their own personal bouncers to keep them from being inconvenienced after a service by those who desire their attention, counsel, and prayers.
Jesus tells us very clearly, “But the greatest among you shall be your servant.” (Matthew 23:11) Jesus was among us as one who serves; the King of Kings and Lord of Lords humbled Himself to serve mankind. In the same way, we too are called to serve. We must never let our high opinion of ourselves convince us that we deserve to be served or that serving is beneath us. The greater our authority and our calling of leadership, the greater is our responsibility to serve.