Dave Black mentioned one of his pastors (Jason) on his blog last weekend (Sunday, September 19, 2010 at 8:15 p.m.). He mentioned Jason in connection to a discussion that he had with a seminary student during a recent conference. I think this discussion reveals one problem with the way we view leaders (especially pastors/elders) in the church:
For some strange reason tonight I was reminded of a conversation I had last week with a student during the 9Marks conference on campus. I mentioned to him that when Becky and I take people with us to Ethiopia we allow them to chose their own ministries. We don’t say, “We’re doing VBS and you are to do such-and-such.” No, they pray, seek the Lord, and then tell us what they sense God is leading them to do. For example, one of my elders (Jason Evans) has been to Ethiopia with us 4 times. On his first few trips he taught church leaders. But on this last trip he told us he wanted to work with the construction team. He ended up being the “paint master” at the Galana clinic and did a marvelous job. When I told the student this he was dumbfounded. How, he wondered, could a preacher waste his time doing something as menial as painting? “That’s like seeing my pastor on a Sunday morning operating the sound system instead of preaching!” he told me. “Yeah,” I thought to myself, “sort of like Jesus washing His disciples’ feet.”
I’m not surprised at the student’s reaction. We don’t expect our leaders to serve. But, according to Scripture, we should.
By the way, I know Jason, and I’m not surprised that he chose to serve in this way at all.