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
“The greatest one among you will live as one called to serve others without honor. The greatest honor and authority is reserved for the one who has a servant heart. The leaders who are served are the most important in your eyes, but in the kingdom, it is the servants who lead” (Luke 22:26–27 TPT).
Aggressive and domineering leaders are often recognized for their leadership qualities. They may be respected for their decisive and assertive measures taken to execute their authority, however that respect may spring more from fear than from admiration. Fear is a poor model for leadership. Tyrants and dictators use fear and intimidation to rule, but that should not be identified as qualities to pursue in leadership, either in business or in ministry settings. Fear is closely akin to hate and at some point hate becomes stronger and those who lead in fear are rejected and replaced.
Jesus spoke about the patterns of leadership so prevalent in the world, He said, “You know that those who are regarded as 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” (Mark 10:42 NIV). Jesus took the leadership model and turned it upside down. The greatest is the least, and the servant becomes the leader.
Jesus said, “The greatest honor and authority is reserved for the one who has a servant heart” (Luke 22:26 TPT). Servant leadership is rewarded in the Kingdom of God. His ways are much higher than ours. (See Isaiah 55:9.)
Jesus taught that humility is the way to promotion, “Remember this: everyone with a lofty opinion of who he is and who seeks to raise himself up will be publicly humbled. And everyone with a modest opinion of who he is and chooses to humble himself will be raised up before all” (Luke 14:11 TPT). The principle of Scripture is clear, “‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time” (1 Peter 5:5–6 NIV).
Seeking to serve in the Kingdom is the best way to find fulfillment in our personal lives, and it is the way to experience growth and promotion in God’s Kingdom. The premium reward is reserved for those who give of themselves in the service of others. While some seek the places of prominence for the acclaim and accolades, Jesus gave value to those who placed others first and sought to give them the best. That is the preferred pattern according to His teaching. Jesus said, “The path to promotion comes by having the heart of a bond-slave who serves everyone” (Mark 10:44 TPT).
What really matters is the ultimate outcome when we shall all stand before the Lord at the end of days. Judgment will be passed and rewards will be given. Nothing will be said about who had the largest congregation, or who gave the most to missions. There is no indication that we will be rewarded for offices held, awards received, or recognition for the greatest number of followers on social media. Primarily, there is one statement Jesus reserves for those who have learned His leadership methods. He will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:21 NIV).
“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).