by Charles R. Swindoll
"Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant." (Matthew 20:26).
Truth be told, even in our churches we tend to get so caught up in a success-and-size race that we lose sight of our primary calling as followers of Christ. The "celebrity syndrome" so present in our Christian thought and activities just doesn't square with the attitudes and messages of Jesus. We have skidded into a pattern whereby the celebrities and top dogs in our church life call the shots . . . and it is difficult to be a servant when you're used to telling others what to do.
Maybe I need to clarify what I mean. In the body of Christ, there is one Head. Christ Jesus is Lord of His body.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. (Colossians 1:15-18)
No human being dare take that position. A man named Diotrephes, mentioned in verses 9 and 10 of John's third letter, attempted to do so and was openly rebuked by the apostle. Diotrephes's account is a warning to anyone who desires to become the "church boss."
It may be a board member, a pastor, a teacher, a musician, a former officer or former pastor in a church. No matter who, the Diotrephes mentality has no place in the body. Only Christ is the Head. All the rest of us are in the class Jesus spoke of in Matthew 20: servants.
You're probably saying, "But there must be leadership to get the job done." Yes, I agree. But it must be servant-hearted leadership among all.
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.