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  • Henry Omotayo

Let Him Be Your Servant


Message No. 0718 | Twitter @GodandUs | www.wisdom-speaks.ca


When politicians want to deceive the people, they tell them that they are the people’s servants and that the people are their employers. Well, yes, this is what it should be, but anyone not living under a rock would know that the opposite is actually the reality. Politicians would do anything to beg for your votes at election time, including, in corrupt environments, giving out money and distributing foodstuffs and other gifts. The moment they get into power, the table turns, and they completely forget the process of getting into office. They become the boss instead of being the servant. They are so protected from the people who elected them, that the next time the people have access to them again is when the next election is near.


The idea of being the servant of the people in a democratic government was not some genius design, it was borrowed from the Bible. Jesus made it clear to His disciples in Matthew chapter 20 verses 25b to 28:


"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave - just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."


Servant leadership is a subject that is taught in institutions of higher learning in our world today, and the idea is centered around what Jesus taught His disciples. The term is used where an individual (a leader) interacts with and works with others (people being led), in order to achieve authority rather than power. It means that you have the authority (given by the people you lead), to take decisions and to lead them, not to isolate yourself and exercise power. You are to use your authority, but not to be authoritarian. Everyone would agree that our democratic institutions are far from this ideal, because even the closest representatives of the people are difficult to see, let alone to interact with.


However, if our earthly governments fall short of the ideals of servant leadership, what of our churches? Can the world learn from the ideals that Jesus preached from our spiritual institutions? I am afraid to say, not quite. The problem is that we, the congregation, have basically elevated our leaders to positions that were not designed by God. We hardly allow them to carry their Bibles, let alone allow them to touch anything that we deem is below a pastor’s level.


One of the saddest things we do is the almost-complete isolation of the pastor. When we invite them to events, like weddings or naming ceremonies, we prevent them from eating with the people, we believe that it is degrading for a pastor to eat with his or her congregants. We deliver their own food to their homes or their cars, in specially packaged containers. The question is, where did we learn this practice from? This is certainly not from the Bible, because Jesus was always interacting and eating with, not only His disciples, but with sinners.


Jesus did not just theorize the idea of servant leadership. After eating the last supper with His disciples, the Bible says that He got up, took off His outer clothing and wrapped a towel around His waist, then He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples’ feet, and drying them with the towel that He wrapped around him. Now, feet washing was a practice in Jewish culture, but this was such a low-level job that it was the duty of a non-Jewish slave to perform the function. This was the reason why Peter was shocked to see Jesus washing his colleague’s feet, that he protested to Jesus, “Lord…no, you shall never wash my feet.”


I know that our churches operate in different cultures, and the culture of respect is practiced differently from nation to nation. However, while we must respect our leaders and pastors (just as the disciples respected Jesus), we must be careful not to prevent them from performing their roles, else we prevent them from leading in accordance with God’s instructions. Our pastors must also not succumb to the respect of the congregation that they abandon the examples set and instructed by Jesus. Peter would not have Jesus wash his feet, but Jesus insisted.


Pastors must insist on performing their duties as laid down by God, and not allow the ultra-elevated statuses that the congregation would like to place them into, else they stand the danger of dancing to the same music the Pharisees danced to. Also, we, the congregants, much as we want to respect our leaders, must not be stumbling blocks to letting them be the kind of leaders that God wants them to be. Servant leadership is a Biblical principle. We all have our roles to play in making this to work in our various congregations. Will you play your own role?


PLEASE ACT NOW:

If you are yet to give your life to Christ, you do not have a covenant with God and His promises do not apply to you. To come under these promises, please surrender your life to Christ today, by praying this prayer:

Lord I know that I am a sinner and I am unable to save myself. I am sorry for my sins and I pray that you please forgive me. I am aware that Your Son Jesus died for my sins and I accept Him as my Lord and savior. I surrender my life unto you from this moment. Please take control of my entire being and help me to be obedient to your Word, going forward. Thank you, Lord, for hearing me. I have prayed in Jesus’ name. Amen.

If you prayed the foregoing prayer, you have just been born again. Please find a Bible believing church in your area and ask to see the pastor. Let him or her know that you have just given your life to Christ and s/he will guide you on next steps in your journey as a child of God. The Lord bless you!

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