October 17

Mark 10:41-45

“But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all.” vss. 43-44

If the Christian Church had a constitution and by-laws, these verses would likely be found under the heading “Leadership” as Article I. Jesus understood that greatness according to the world’s standards involved the accumulation of power and wealth. And we know that too! We see it on every level in every community on earth. Even the poorest nations are led by billionaire dictators. The rich never go hungry! And even churches get sucked in. What started with the disciples and their little power grab has continued, and today we have preachers with more money than the fabled Croesus. Those gross distortions are the opposite of what Jesus imagined for his followers. He could not have put it more plainly, “Whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant!” And some disciples have paid attention. We see those servant leaders in our congregations and are blessed by their ministries. They do everything with deep humility and don’t need the acclaim of their peers to find worthiness before God. And they don’t just do it on Sunday! They are servants in every setting, as CEO’s, mailroom clerks, rocket scientists, lawyers, and teachers. And their embodiment of the gospel is changing the world. Not everyone is out to make a buck! And that’s a very good thing!

Thought for the Day: Servant leaders that I have known.

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