In Scripture, every believer is a minster (servant) and every believer is a missionary (sent to proclaim the gospel). No… really… not just in theory. This is not something that’s interesting to talk about, it is our identity and purpose as followers of Jesus Christ. Thus, with this blog, I talk about what I’m learning and what I’m living. I’m certainly not perfect, and the people that God has placed around me are not perfect, but we are attempting to serve and proclaim the gospel to the community in which we live. Do we make mistakes? Absolutely! But, we make mistakes while doing… not while thinking or planning or wondering… but doing!
Tuesday morning, Dave Black posted a short article called “Christianity’s Prescription for Sick Churches” which included an excerpt from a Bible study that his son Nathan put together. (I’ve encouraged him to publish the entire Bible study online.) In response to this short excerpt, Dave says the following in general and about Nathan in particular:
Every member of Christâ€™s Body is a minister. Every function is a ministry. This means, as Nathan implies, that all Christians are to be known by one word: servant. This service to others is an obligation, not an option. The Bible teaches the priesthood of all believers, and not merely a few.
Nathan himself is a rank-and-file part of his small congregation in rural Virginia. There he leads and plays piano and teaches the Bible lesson every Sunday, not as a pastor, but as a parishioner. (The church, in fact, has no full-time “pastor.”) This is how he “washes feet” in Jesusâ€™ name. He refuses to be paid for serving. After all, he reasons, I am an able-bodied man and can support myself.
Nathan truly practices what he preaches. What a rich heritage his children will have. No, there is nothing wrong with receiving an occasional love offering from others. But that, it seems clear from Scripture, is to be the exception, not the rule.
It seems like today everyone wants to give or receive a title before actually doing something. Nathan doesn’t desire the title “pastor”, but he “pastors” just as every believer should do. Nathan doesn’t want money for his service… then it wouldn’t be service… it would be a job. Instead, Nathan desires to “practice what he preaches” – he is serving the people among whom God has placed him. He wants to be known simply as a servant… like his Lord… who didn’t come to be served, but to serve.
What about you? Are you content being known and recognized as simply a servant?