Terry R Baughman is Lead Pastor for LifeChurch in Gilbert, AZ. See his complete bio at trbaughman.com
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RELEASE — equipped to serve
Terry R. Baughman
“You are to lead by a different model. If you want to be the greatest, then live as one called to serve others. The path to promotion comes by having the heart of a bond-slave who serves everyone” (Mark 10:43–44 TPT).
To those who receive a “calling” it sounds like a promotion. To some it appears to be a badge of honor, a source of pride, a distinguishing position of elevation. Whenever God touches a life and places His claim on a person it is an honor, but not in the way of worldly notoriety. God’s calling is the call to serve in His Kingdom. It is an invitation down the path of humility.
While that description may sound less glamorous and even repulsive to our carnal nature, the biblical trajectory to success leads us in different paths. The greatest calling is the call to serve and then to prepare others to do the same. The commission mandate is not an invitation to prominence, but the invitation to greater service.
On one occasion Jesus took a child in His arms when the disciples tried to keep the children away. He forbade them from restricting the children and welcomed them saying, “For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest” (Luke 9:48 NIV). In this statement He established a principle of the Kingdom. It is the principle of opposites: the least is the greatest; to go up, one must go down; the way to promotion is through humiliation; servitude will result in leadership. You won’t find these chapters in a leadership book. Conventional wisdom doesn’t match up with kingdom principles. However, it remains a truth of Scripture.
Jesus is our greatest example of servant leadership. He was the Son of God who became the Son of man. Paul wrote, “He existed in the form of God, yet he gave no thought to seizing equality with God as his supreme prize. Instead he emptied himself of his outward glory by reducing himself to the form of a lowly servant. He became human! He humbled himself and became vulnerable, choosing to be revealed as a man and was obedient” (Philippians 2:6–8 TPT). He showed us how to live and lead. He showed us how to serve.
This is the purpose and intent of the church. It is a place for discipleship to happen. A place for teaching and modeling Christ’s principles. The church is a place for fellowship in God’s community; a place to fulfill our greatest potential.
The reward of servitude is exaltation. Promotion will come, but it will not be on our own terms and in our time. It will only occur in God’s timing. It is the end result of a life of faithful service. Jesus received the greatest accolades after His great example of obedience. Paul continued, “Because of that obedience, God exalted him and multiplied his greatness! He has now been given the greatest of all names!” (Philippians 2:9 TPT). This was the perfect pattern for a life of discipleship and our model for leadership. In Jesus’ words from the text above He said, “You are to lead by a different model. If you want to be the greatest, then live as one called to serve others” (Mark 10:43–44 TPT). That is our calling!
“Their calling is to nurture and prepare all the holy believers to do their own works of ministry, and as they do this they will enlarge and build up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12 TPT).