Soon, this servant of the Lord will stand in a pulpit and proclaim His Word as a newly-appointed pastor in the Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church; as the days wind down to this life-changing event, one thing keeps coming to mind that I need to address here…and that is the lack of focused leadership in our churches (as a whole) in today’s world.
That’s not to say that there aren’t really good shepherds to God’s flock out there; on the contrary, I have seen and heard some excellent teachers of the Bible who truly love the Lord and show it with their servant hearts and attitude. But, sad to say, these are few and far between.
You know, those of us who have felt the calling to serve our Lord know what a burden it can be sometimes. My heart literally aches when I think about all of those who are the least, the last, and the lost…and how little we have reached out to them. We get so consumed and caught up in our daily lives that we fail to act; and God requires more out of us as Christians than to just attend church; he requires a sacrifice and commitment to SERVE Him in all things.
The word serve has various meanings; here are some from Webster’s Online Dictionary:
- to be of use; to be favorable, opportune, or convenient; to be worthy of reliance or trust; to hold an office; discharge a duty or function
- to prove adequate or satisfactory
- to help persons to food; to wait at table; to set out portions of food or drink
- to be a servant to; to give the service and respect due to (a superior); to comply with the commands or demands of
- to furnish or supply with something needed or desired
- to answer the needs of; to be enough for : SUFFICE; to contribute or conduce to : PROMOTE
Makes one think, doesn’t it? When we begin to break down the true meaning of the word, then it becomes nothing about us; instead, it’s about doing something for others.
As leaders who stand in the pulpits across this great nation, we are called to be firm and steadfast in the Word and not waver, no matter how strong the opposition that may come against us. We are to be true shepherds and teach just what it means to be a Christian in today’s world, and we are to gently lead those who are spiritually lost into a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. And, we are held accountable for the spiritual lives of those who hang in the balance; we are to serve others with that unconditional love of the Lord, even though it can be a difficult task sometimes.
You know, when I think of serving others, I think first on that Last Supper over 2,000 years ago, when Jesus served His disciples by washing their feet, and then shared one final meal with them…and then I think of the numerous times during His short ministry on earth, when He shared His Life with others through healing, teaching, praying, etc…and by His example, He showed what it meant to be a true servant to others…especially when He hung on that Cross and said, “Father, forgive them…for they know not what they do.”
My prayer for this ministry that God has called me into, and for all of those who are leaders in the Lord’s Church, is this…“Lord, it’s not about me…it’s ALL about Jesus.”
May His blessings overflow in your life this day!