Google+ 12/06/13 Godly Leaders are Always Slaves and Servants First!

Matthew 20:23-27

 

Jesus told them, “You will indeed drink from my bitter cup.

But I have no right to say who will sit on my right or my left.

My Father has prepared those places for the ones he has chosen.”

When the ten other disciples heard what James and John had asked, they were indignant.

But Jesus called them together and said,

“You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people,

And officials flaunt their authority over those under them.

But among you it will be different.

Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant,

And whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave.

 

In part five of our twelve-part devotion series entitled, "Be Prepared!" Matthew quotes Jesus as He explains a very important concept to the disciples.  Most churches and many pastors have no understanding of what Jesus speaks about in our Scripture today.  The mother of James and John has come to Jesus and asked Him to make sure that her boys have a prominent place in Jesus's Kingdom.  She specifically requests that they reside, one on His left side and one on His right.  Every mother wants the best for her children, but in this case, Jesus has to inform her that it is not His call.  Jesus explains that it is up to His Father to determine those places for each of us.  The response of the other ten disciples is interesting, but not unexpected.  Remember that the discipleship training of the apostles is still not completed.  The disciples become indignant.  They want to know what leadership role they will possess in Jesus's Kingdom, and they want to know now!  Listen to Jesus as He explains how to prepare to be a leader.  Leadership is not about a title that we can flaunt over others.  Jesus says that is what the world does.  Rather, if we are to be leaders, we must first be servants.  Yes, that is what Jesus says.  Servants are people that work tirelessly for others, never complaining and always being grateful.  As a pastor, it is my joy and calling to serve ALL of my congregation.  The problem is that churches and pastors have predetermined guidelines about how they will serve.  Our Christian service should simply begin with a plea to God each day to make us a blessing to someone.  No strings attached.  Now, hold on to your hat because Jesus concludes with something that will stun must Christians.  Jesus says if we wish to be "first" in the area of leadership, we must first be a slave!  That means we serve and get nothing in return and we are at others' bidding, 24-7!  If you are thinking that this is the role that every pastor should take, you are absolutely right.  For most prudent and Godly pastors, preaching on Sunday morning is the easiest part of the job.  Ministry occurs during the week at Starbucks, the dollar store, hospitals, funeral homes, grocery stores, and timely meetings in a variety of different locations.  Why?  That's where the people are that need us to serve and be their slaves.  Prepare to lead by serving, not by bragging or flaunting a title of authority.  "Godly Leaders are Always Slaves and Servants First!"