I once had a minister tell me how he had an opportunity to be the next Mike Cope. He was getting calls from well-known, large churches all over the U.S. But, he was a humble man who decided to work with his small, obscure congregation. They should feel blessed.
No offense to Mike Cope, but that really didn’t impress me. As much as I could have impressed anyone that I could have been the next Big John Studd in College or the next Keith Lancaster when it came to worship. Really, all it did was make me wonder why this minister was in the ministry to begin with: to become famous or to serve Christ and His Church?
Something I have noticed is how many people have goals in their lives to stand in front of a congregation and preach or to lead worship with the wrong motive. It becomes about their skill, how much better a preacher or worship leader they are, or their self-assessed giftedness. But in every place in Scripture that speaks about teaching, leading, preaching, or doing things for the church, we read about how it is more about serving than anything else.
Too many want to be considered leaders instead of servants. I think we spend a great deal too much time defining leaders instead of teaching people to be servants as disciples of Christ.
Charles Spurgeon once said, “If you think you can never honor Christ until you enter a pulpit, it may be just possible that you will afterward honor him best by getting out of it as quickly as you can.” I think I agree. If we think the only way to honor Christ is by being in front of others, then we should probably find something else to do to show Him honor because we might just be doing it for our own honor.
In Mark chapter 10, we can read that James and John, both disciples of Jesus, wanted to be granted the honor to sit on Jesus’ right and left in His Kingdom. The thing is they didn’t really know what they were asking for. To be on Jesus’ right and left were places asking for death to honor the Kingdom of heaven.
Whenever I hear someone boast of their abilities to lead worship, to boast of their skills to speak publicly, and ask to be placed in the position up front, I wonder if they, too, know what they are asking for. Honestly, to be given the opportunity to lead up front is a tremendous responsibility. It is only a place of honor because it is a deep honor to be granted the opportunity to preach the Word of God or lead His people in praise. I have always found it to be a heavy responsibility. One that could put me in a place that if I say or do something that dishonors God and His Word, I am in danger of teaching God’s people untruth. It truly can be a burden to bear knowing that a lot people are watching and taking note.
Teaching the truth brings double honor to those who are faithful. But teaching false doctrine brings dishonor and calls for condemnation on his head. That is a huge responsibility. Today, it seems that many just want a flashy presentation whether it is truth or not. Flash and polished preaching or worship leading are great, but as my good friend Wes Hanson says, I’d rather have character and truth than polish.
We are all called to share our faith. It is part of being a disciple of Christ. It may just be that when we share, it isn’t from a stage or a pulpit. It is in our example. It is from our homes. It is in our workplace. It is to our neighbor.
“It has come to be a dreadfully common belief in the Christian Church that the only man who has a ‘call’ is the man who devotes all his time to what is called ‘the ministry,’ whereas all Christian service is ministry, and every Christian has a call to some kind of ministry or another.” — Charles Spurgeon
May we all find our ministry. May that ministry be in any walk of life. May we be glad that the pulpits and worship leads are done by those God has called even if it is not us. May we teach the truth of the Gospel and not worldliness or a worldly Gospel. May we seek to be feeble, meek, and humble and not look to become famous using Christ’s calling. May we all serve with every fiber of who we are in Christ and receive the honor of knowing that Christ is King and we serve Him first.
It was even Christ who humbled himself to death on a cross. He didn’t take the exalted position he could have. The one who deserved the most honor. Let us be more like him.