Serve to Lead

Matthew 20:25-28 tells us that, “Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

If we want to be the type of leader that Jesus was, there are plenty of examples of how he led and what He said about leading others in scripture, especially the gospels (Paul talks a lot about Jesus’ leadership as well). The scripture above makes it clear that if you want to lead in the Kingdom you must serve. Not to serve first, then you earn the right to lead, Biblical leaders continue to serve. A Christlike-leader serves always. Romans 6:13, “offer yourselves to God” becomes a fixed point to navigate Christian leadership.

Giving ourselves to kingdom work becomes exhausting when people continually let us down. That person that you invested so much in feels called to another ministry. That couple you counseled with for hours on end decides to give up on their marriage. Without even calling you, they file for divorce. That young man from your discipleship class decides he’s not all that sure if there even is a God and stops returning your texts.

How do we deal with the frustration and disappointment? Primarily, we must recognize that it is not our responsibility to convict of sin and woo others to Christ. In fact, it’s none of our business! We are not the Holy Spirit. You do not offer yourself to a church, to an institution, or to people. You offer yourself to God.

In times of disappointment and betrayal, focus on offering yourself to Him and doing the labor (for Him) of fishing for men and making disciples. Overcome the temptation to fix everyone’s problems by taking them to God in prayer. Only He can fix them anyway.

There is a story told of a fisherman who bought a new compass. Excitedly, he fastened it to the front of his boat and set off into the ocean, beyond sight of land. After a full day he decided to head home following his new compass. After an hour or so, he knew he should be able to see the shore, yet there he was surrounded by waves on a clear day. As he saw the sun begin to set in front of him, instead of off his left shoulder, he realized the compass was leading him west instead of north. He knew the compass worked when he bought it; what had gone wrong? When he got home he unscrewed the compass and it immediately shifted . Only then did he realize that the screw he had mounted the compass with was magnetized. It would always point north no matter which way he was going.

As we all struggle with our personal calls to kingdom work, The Apostle Paul says in Galatians 6:9, “…let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Keeping our focus upon Him is the only way to move forward in the face of trials and tribulations.