Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Having a title doesn't make you a leader...

Servant?

So unsexy, ain't it?

Ah, but so like Jesus.

Here's more to ponder if you're so inclined...
The modern array of ecclesiastical titles accompanying the names of Christian leaders ["reverend" "pastor"] is completely missing from the New Testament and would have appalled the apostles and early believers. Although both the Greeks and Jews employed a wealth of titles for their political and religious leaders in order to express their power and authority, the early Christians avoided such titles. The early Christians used common and functional terms to describe themselves and their relationships. Some of these terms are "brother," "beloved," "fellow-worker," "laborer," "slave," "servant," "prisoner," "fellow-soldier," and "steward."

Of course there were prophets, teachers, apostles, evangelists, leaders, elders, and deacons within the first churches, but these terms were not used as formal titles for individuals. All Christians are saints, but there was no "Saint John." All are priests, but there was no "Priest Phillip." Some are elders, but there was no "Elder Paul." Some are overseers, but there was no "Overseer John." Some are pastors, but there was no "Pastor James." Some are deacons, but there was no "Deacon Peter." Some are apostles, but there was no "Aposle Andrew."


Rather than gaining honor through titles and position, New Testament believers received honor primarily for their service and work [their way of life—see Romans 16:1-16, 1 Timothy 3:1-13; 1 Corinthians 16:15-18; Philippians 2:29-30; and others]. The early Christians referred to each other by personal names (Timothy, Paul, Titus), the terms "brother" or "sister," or by describing an individual's spiritual character or work:
* Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:5);
* Barnabas, a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith (Acts 11:24);
* Phillip the evangelist Acts 21:8);
* Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus (Romans 16:3);
* Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you (Romans 16:6).

—Taken from Biblical Eldership by Alexander Strauch (page 302)

Real power and authority doesn't come from a position or title. It comes from Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20) and learning to live all of life like Jesus (1 John 2:6).

What would it look like for you to live and lead like Jesus—as a servant?

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