I shared these thoughts at Covenant Word Christian Fellowship in Cambridge, Ontario with their ministry of helps team.
I want to make a CASE for the ministry of helps within the local church.
There is no shortage of ‘deep truth’ teaching today on all subjects, but, there is a shortage of local churches that understand the culture of servanthood and what it means to be a servant leader.
Jesus made it clear that we were not to lead like the Gentiles who lord it over or seek to be served. Rather, we were to be like Him as one who came to serve and not be served.
CASE: Character. Attitude. Skills. Experience.
This simple word represents both the fruit of the Spirit in character and attitude and the gifts of the Spirit in skills and experience at work in the life of a believer.
Helps in a local church is a work of the Holy Spirit who cannot be seen but is made visible through our obedience and servanthood.
Ephesians 4:11-12; 15 - 16
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ...rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
1 Corinthians 12:4 - 7
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.mTo each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
Does the culture of your church promote servant leadership?
A good servant leader is one whose primary purpose for leading is to serve others by investing in their development and well being for the benefit of the common good and goal.
For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them...
True servanthood understands intentional stewardship of what God has deposited within them; seeks to influence others by word and deed; and empowers others to identify and achieve the stated goals of the local church.
1 Peter 4:10
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace...
ServiceMaster Corporation is on top of Fortune Magazine’s list of profitable companies in the service business. It has more than 250,000 employees and serves more than 5 million customers per year in 30 countries.
In the lobby of their head office stands a large marble statue of Jesus washing the feet of a disciple. That says it all but just in case people miss it there is sign on the wall behind the statue for all to see is the company’s four objectives.
To honor God in all we do.
To help people develop.
To pursue excellence.
To grow profitably
We serve others for their benefit not ours. The by-product for us is the joy of helping others.
It is building a caring community that represents Jesus the servant.
It is empowering others for the development of their potential to become serving leaders themselves.
Remember Moses and his father-in-law Jethro. This is the model of top down leadership. Those 70 served Moses as he served the nation.
This model appears all through the Old Testament until Jesus begins His ministry and changes everything to bottom up leadership.
Jesus spent 30 years of private preparation in Nazareth, working in Joseph’s carpentry shop building products for customers. He served.
Then He spends 3.5 years publicly serving the Father by serving the Jewish people. He makes disciples. Preaches. Teaches. Heals. Delivers. Travels and makes the Father’s plan visible.
Making disciples was serious business for Jesus. He called them to Himself and spent 30,000 hours with these men. He calls them His disciples for a reason.
In North America, the average attendance now at a local church by a member is 60% of the Sunday morning services over the year. That is 31 weeks at 30 minutes per sermon or 15.6 hours of instruction, from a pulpit, each year. Is it any wonder why we are not making an impact? Why so few disciples are being trained in the local church.
Jesus had one more important lesson to teach them.
Read John 13:1-11; 12 - 17.
Foot washing is something wives did for their husbands, children for their parents, and disciples for their teachers. At the last supper, somebody forgot to hire a servant to wash their feet.
Jesus did not consider Himself above meeting this need. A lowly task for sure. They had walked and shared the road with animals. Think of those feet!
Who dropped the ball? Where was the servant to wash their feet? The disciples were more interested in their seating position in the kingdom rather than meeting the need of the moment.
Jesus models loving God, loving people and doing what is necessary when opportunity presents itself. This was their final lesson on humility and servanthood which would demonstrate their love for one another.