John 13:12-17 – “So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” NKJV
For a long time, have had a bad taste in my mouth for much of the clerical hierarchy that exists in the church. Oh I believe that there is a “first among equals” and that there is a “Moses” or a “point man” for each local congregation but Lording it over people is not the biblical way. Jesus demonstrated that truth in this passage and gave us an example of “True Leadership” which comes through serving. Too often I’ve seen people who want to be served rather than being willing to serve. I’ve seen those who feel it is beneath them to get their hands dirty with a menial task (so to speak) because of their position or place. I’ve cleaned toilets in the church while serving as the “senior pastor” and it did not bother me to do so. It was not always because it was expected but sometimes because it was needed or just because I chose to do so to demonstrate that I was willing to serve. I’ve put on my nail apron and worked alongside others in a church work day or in helping some needy family in the community and thought nothing about it and never felt nor allowed it to diminish my ability to speak authoritatively as the need presented itself on a biblical matter.
It has long been my contention and conviction that if a person cannot or will not follow they are not qualified to lead and should not be allowed to occupy a position of leadership regardless of so-called credentials or qualifications. In my years of ministerial leadership I almost always was willing to choose the person with a servant’s heart over someone with seemingly more impressive qualifications that did not exhibit that same spirit and attitude. We do not need a hierarchy we need a community of people joined together in Jesus Christ functioning according to the “gifts and callings” of God upon their lives. I’ve taken the follower’s role even when the lead man when I recognized a gift operational in a person’s life that fit the situation and made them more qualified than I. Allowing people to function in the talents and abilities that God has given them is far more efficient than trying to be Moses “pre-Jethro.” Study and you will know what I mean. Moses was trying to be the SOLE LEADER of the entire nation and his father-in-law gave him wisdom that could only come from God and experience that gave us an example of what the local church should look like.
If you find yourself in a position of leadership be willing to serve and if you are not in a position of leadership and have a desire to lead be willing to and actually serve. If you do so with a cheerful heart God will promote you to whatever position and place that He deems is where you need to be and serve. After all, it is HIS CHURCH and we are MEMBERS of His Body! He chooses what part we play and when we play it and one role is not more important than another. The physical body needs all its parts to be a fully functioning and complete unit and so does the Body of Christ.
May God be with you as you serve Him and others! Blessings!