Some ministers are perceived to be important.
When I first began preaching and serving as a “full-time minister,” I soon realized that some preachers were considered to be important people.
That struck me as interesting and even a bit odd.
After all, I was a business major in college. It wasn’t until after I had graduated from college that I began to think about the possibility of becoming better equipped to serve God. I wasn’t going back to school for a new career. In fact, to this day I have never referred to my work as a minister as a career. Instead, I tend to think of my work as a calling that I am doing as long as I think this is what God wants me to do.
I do remember, however, when it occurred to me that some ministers were perceived to be important people.
- They were invited to speak at large gatherings of Christians.
- They were described as having “preached in some of our most influential pulpits.
- They were characterized as “highly sought after” ministers.
For a while, I thought that I should pursue importance. (Yes, this is embarrassing to admit. I know that is not a good thing. I know that idea reeks of pride. I’m just telling you what went through my head.) After thinking about this (way too long), I began to wonder if I was losing my mind. I do remember, after all, the times when Jesus was approached by people either perceiving their own greatness or wanting to be great.
My own self-consciousness was making me blind to what God was doing in my life and the congregations I served.
So what is the answer?
- I don’t think the answer lies in resenting those who are placed in visible positions.
- I don’t think the answer lies in self-doubt and feeling inadequate.
- I don’t think the answer lies in trying to position one’s self to know the right people, have access to certain opportunities, etc.
Maybe the answer is found in believing Jesus and taking him at his word.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)
Do you relate to this? What have been the challenges for you as you deal with your own humanity and the calling of Jesus to serve?