Last week I was listening to one of my favorite Podcast: Mark Driscoll with Mars Hill. His sermon was titled "Humble Pastors." If you are involved in ministry in any way (full time or serving some how), I really encourage you to listen to it.
Here were some key things that stuck out to me that He talked about:
"Don't push or pressure others into something. Others need to be called."
I would like to add to that: You need to be called (by God), not just asked (by people).
He talked about how a lot of ministries and churches have it set up where you have to wait to be approached to do something. That the truly godly thing to do is wait and let the Lord open up the door.
Neither Mark nor myself are advocating that you don't wait on God. But do we wait too often on man? Do we put such reliance on those that are "in authority over us" and sit back till we are pursued? With that a lot of "power" is given to those in leadership in churches and in ministries. But because humans are flawed, often times, personal preferences can sway decisions.
One of the things Mark did advocate was that if you feel really called to something, pursue it. My pastor said one time that, "If you feel 90% sure about something and there are no obvious red flags, go for it."
Too many times we fear that choosing the wrong path will ruin things forever. That God would never consider blessing a choice that was made with good intentions.
He quoted 1 Timothy 3:1, "The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task." He referenced it for the application that to desire something isn't a bad thing, in fact, it can even be considered a good thing.
"Don't be motivated by greed."
This one can sting a lot of us because it asks one very clear question: Why are you in the ministry you are in?
1 Peter 5:2-3, 5b, "Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. ...Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."
Then he said, "Some are motivated by status and power... they like having authority over others... it's disgusting and not how it's supposed to be in the church."
A question you might ask yourself and that I asked myself, "Are you always the one leading or 'serving?'" And if you said yes to that, ask yourself: "Why? Really and truly, why?"
Then he conintinued on talking about the importance of humility... "It's not about self-help, it's not about 'Be all you can be.' That's toxic... We are addicted to ourselves. " Then he shared some tips on enjoying humility:
1. Turn critics into coaches. You don't have to agree with all, but see the parts that are true and be thankful for that gift.
2. Preach and practice repentance. You become more trustworthy when you admit your mistakes.
3. Enjoy submitting to authority.
4. Enjoy learning as much as teaching.
5. Accepting your place, including demotions.
What do you think?
Do you feel like you are constantly serving... but maybe, if you were honest, you are serving yourself, not others and not God by your service. Or maybe you are on the flip side, you don't ever serve and that is being just as greedy?