Continuing the FIEC talk:
So we are leading in order that God is glorified in the church and through the church, as we witnes to Christ and become more like Christ. I love the description of that growth in Eph. 4 where it described as becoming like unto a mature man, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. That’s what we are watching over their souls for. That is what we are their servants for. The Bible frequently talks about us as their servants but it doesn’t say we are their servants to do what they want. It says that we are their servants for Christ’s sake. In other words, serving them for the sake of his glory in their lives. Paul says (1 Cor 3:5):
What is Paul, what is Apollos? Servants through whom you believed.” And in 2 Cor 4:5 “we proclaim Jesus as Lord and ourselves as your servants for his sake. I take that to mean we are committed to leading God’s people:
· To be what he wants them to be – fully yielded and submitted to Christ
· To do what he wants them to do – living for his glory
· By the methods that God has given – plain straightforward means, not underhanded or overbearing
When we think of leading people to be who God wants them to be, I think in terms of: People who long to bring him glory because their lives and hearts and life priorities and ambitions are changing to be like Jesus
When we think of leading people to do what he wants them to do, I thinking terms of:
· Participating with God’s people in activities in your local area which will bring him glory
· Having an active concern for his glory all over the world, and an engagement in it through world missions, by going, or sending or praying
Back in Eph 4 that means God giving Bible centred ministries for building up the saints in love, for releasing each of their service, helping them be united in Christ, and full of the knowledge of the Son of God. People who are not blown this way and that by every wind of teaching.
What does it mean to be the servant of a church for the sake of the Lord? It means everything we do in leadership is so that he is exalted all over the world. So that Christ is formed in people’s hearts by faith. That is what is wrapped up in that phrase “for his sake.” You serve the church in order to achieve that.
Now, all of this dramatically affects our understanding of our job as leaders. Our job is not to put on a service, although it may involve that. Our job is not to pastor people through hardship, although it will involve that. Our job, finally, is not about compassion ministries, although it is deadly to separate out our witness from our compassion and our work will certainly involve compassion ministries. Our job is not to produce structures and strategies, although it will involve that.
Our job is to be key people in producing a radically God-centred church that is concerned for the growth of his Kingdom and the spread of his glory throughout the whole world. This is not a little thing you are doing. The Almighty One has invited you to be an under-shepherd for his glory and the good of his people. To help feed his flock and spread his fame.