Chuck Foreman – Teaching / Missions Pastor
That intoxicating spotlight…
Too often leadership, even in the church, is all about the spotlight, the glamour, the power, the authority, and the money. Many leaders get the twisted idea that the church exists to serve them rather than that they exist to serve the church.
We all have an insatiable desire for the affirmation of others. If we aren’t careful, it will feed our pride and we will become corrupt, seeking the praise of people above all else, even above the praise that might otherwise come from God himself. People’s praise will become our ‘drug of choice.’ We will do anything to get it and keep it—even to the point of compromising our character, hiding our flaws, and placing ourselves above others and above all the rules that apply only to the peons around us. We will become disgusting, unable to admit our faults, but we and those who have attached themselves to us in order to become part of the inner circle will be the last ones to see how disgusting we have actually become.
This was the sad state to which religious leadership in 1st century Judaism had stooped, and was undoubtedly what Jesus was thinking of when he told his disciples and the crowds that day on the grassy, rolling hills along the shores of the Sea of Galilee, “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:20)
“You mean the way our leaders do it is not how you want us to do it?” To which we can just hear Jesus reply, “Right On! Now you’re feelin’ me!”
A superficial righteousness, a righteousness for show, is not what God is interested in—in any of us, especially those who lead his people. Inauthentic leaders have no place in the Kingdom Jesus brought to earth. And he’s calling them out! Check this out…
Jesus’ Warning Against Hypocrisy, Matthew 23:1-12
- Jesus wants honest, genuine leaders in his kingdom.
This is going to mean that all of us, but especially those of us who find ourselves in any kind of leadership role, must be willing to do a couple of things:
- Actually practice the things we’re teaching others.
- Be transparent about our own problems, challenges and sins. We’re human too and we shouldn’t pretend not to be. (We like to think, and like you to think, that our poop doesn’t stink. And if we can convince you that we don’t even poop at all, we will.)
Jesus wants humble, servant leaders in his kingdom.
2. Jesus wants humble, servant leaders in his kingdom.
Never forget that Jesus final act with his disciples was to wash their feet!
3. Jesus will humble a willing leader and grow him through suffering so that he can lead God’s People with authenticity.
- David— Psalm 51
- Saul— Acts 9:15-16
BIG Idea: Authenticity, honesty and humility are the marks of the church and its leaders in the Kingdom of God, not piety, prestige or power.