The Key

John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.”

What an amazingly simple statement!

John the Baptist saw his place and his part in the grand scheme of things and accepted it with grace. He knew his purpose and God’s plan for him. He didn’t try to exalt himself above measure. He did not set out to garner a following.

He gave himself over to what God created him to do. 

I could have titled this “Making Much of Jesus,” but it is more than that.

In our lives, we struggle with whose needs should be met first. When we wake, we take care of the creature needs to awaken the body. But after that, what happens? Do we acknowledge God’s watchful eye over us through the night?

Psalm 121:4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.”

Proverbs 3:24 When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.”

Are we truly grateful for the provision He gives, so we don’t go hungry? Do we see our needs as being met, or do we grumble for we desire instead of being grateful for what we do have?

John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.”

Is Christ the center of your home?

Is He a guest at every meal? Is He welcome into every aspect of your home? Your mealtime conversations? What of the work done to keep the household running? The parenting of the children? Your interaction, communication, and growth of your marriage? The finances? 

What about your neighbors? Do they know you are a Christian because of what they see AND what they’ve heard? Have we invited them to church? 

Then, there is our workplace, coworkers, boss, and all we interact with daily. Do they see that we lift the Savior in all we do?

John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.”

As a leader of multiple ministries, I view those who follow and help me lead in an exceptional light. I do not lord over them with a harsh voice and even more strident criticism. We are but pilgrims on the same path given to work together by God to accomplish what will ultimately glorify Him.

Servant Leadership. Jesus’ example to His disciples should be what we follow even today.

John 13:12-17 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”

Servant Leadership. It is the key to all positions in the church. It should be beneath no person or position to sweep a floor, pick up and take out the garbage, or wipe tables. 

All too often, we glorify leadership as a position to attain. In the church, from the pastor to the deacons, from the Sunday school teacher to the nursery worker, and even to those who clean the church; we are called to take our place in the body of Christ as we have been gifted and given talents to do so.

We should not covet after that for which we have not been called. Envy, jealousy, and critical talk all dissipate because we will be content with filling and fulfilling what God called us to do. 

Harry S. Truman said, “It is amazing what you can accomplish when if you do not care who gets the credit.” Jesus takes it one step further. It is God who does it in you and through you.

Hebrews 13:20-21 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

I truly believe that any organism (the church) cannot operate without structure and order. There must be the head. All parts must agree to function as the leader leads. Each filling and fulfilling their purpose and position to seek God and glorify Him in all that we do puts us on the same page to function as God intended.

The enemies of servant leadership are pride, selfishness, and covetousness. These will use others instead of serving. They will ultimately be destroyed.

Even though it may look right on the outside, there is no substance inside. Growth gotten by a good marketing plan is what man can do. In doing so, we forget:

1 Corinthians 3:7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.”

Some would like to think using business principles to bring about growth is good. The local New Testament church is NOT a business, but needs to be run decently and in order.

The key or the over-arching principle is that all members are the servant to the same God who has chosen each of us to take our place and function as He leads and guides.

We should not and cannot find our identity in the position we hold. I am a child of God, chosen to lead an addictions ministry, supervise the adult Sunday school, and teach. But the only thing that defines me is this: “I am a child of the King. I will do whatever He asks of me and use my life to accomplish that task.” 

Lastly, servant leadership needs to have a proper perspective of authority. The person filling the position is just as human and fallible as I am. I must bring as much mercy and forgiveness to them as I would want the same if it were me.

Far too often, we will criticize someone for how they carried out the duties of their position without a single thought to the difficulties they may be facing or without an individual prayer for them.

Everyone has an opinion as to how it can or should be done. I find that by praying for them first, all but eliminates the criticism that may arise in my heart. 

Let us get our own house in order first before we cast stones at others. Let us lift God in all places and in all things. Let us take up the mind and heart of a servant in all that we do. In doing so, we will be more and more like Christ.

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