The Greatest Among You…

I want to resurrect a post from the echo discussion board called “Church” because it’s of great value.  On the initial post baristopher quoted Deitrich Bonhoeffer, where part of the statement has brought me back to the very basic thing I learned from a great mentor in Terry Johns.  Part of Bonhoeffer’s quote says,

“The church must share in the secular problems of ordinary human life, not dominating, but helping and serving. It must tell people of every calling what it means to live in Christ, to exist for others.”

I’m reminded of Matthew 23:11, which speaks of being the greatest.  What does it take to be greatest?  Scripture says,

“The greatest among you must be a servant. (NLT)”

Of course, this is only one passage in an entire chapter and I challenge you to read the entire chapter to catch the entire message Jesus was speaking.

Still this one verse is powerful because it requires us, yes, REQUIRES us to be servants if we want to be great.  Does this mean we have a misconception of greatness?  In a sense “yes” and this is because we have based success on accomplishments as opposed to attitudes and simple acts of love. Some great “servants” can immediately identify are Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King.  But what about the folks who clean the toilets in our schools, churches and workplaces? What about the people who serve us without great pay, but have incredible, loving attitudes?

My first true mentor told me “if you want to be a good leader you need to be a great follower.”  A good follower serves because he loves his leaders, but importantly he has a passion for all the people he serves.  I look back at my 22 years of serving my country and it wasn’t always with the attitude of a servant.  Sure, they trained us to be managers and leaders, but too often we neglected the truth of being a servant.

This is where I would usually challenge the church to serve with a heart and attitude of a servant.  Yet, God is telling me that I can’t forget the very life Christ lived when he walk the earth…a servant to all.  I’m not looking for greatness.  Nor do I even compare to Christ.  I just want to be more like Him by sharing in the struggle of humanity and tell them what it means to live for Him and not just exist.


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