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Good Minister Part 1: A Good Servant

By Jerjuanna Cecille

Minister: to attend to the needs of someone else; to be a Servant.

It’s interesting that if you look around in today’s world, society, American culture, and even Memphis TN, EVERYBODY AND THEY DADDY is in ministry. About every week or so a new Christian blogger pops up, a new well spoken social media minister comes out of the woodwork! Even in the times of everyday life you surprisingly may see one of your friends, family members, or coworkers pop out with “Minister of”, “Pastor of”, or “Reverend of” in front of their names. Then the question arises “ Oh so you PREACH PREACH now! It’s funny, interesting and heartbreaking because so many have walked into these titles, these callings, but only a few truly know and understand what it means and what it takes to be a minister of Christ. It is not for all to be placed on this high pedestal. It is not for all to dance and drown it their own glory. It is not for all to stand amongst those that they have influence over and proclaim words that only makes them comfortable and keep them in the world’s good graces. As James says:

Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. - James 3:1 (NIV)

It is true that Scripture tells us that we are all called to be ministers of Christ. Those who have been saved by grace through faith in Jesus have been given a charge to share of that grace and faith. To make much of his name and obey God’s will for their lives. And there are many who have been given by the virtue of the Holy Spirit the gift of teaching, and preaching the word of God. In 1 Corinthians 4:1-2 Paul addresses those with these gifts and their function within the body of Christ.

This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.

In these verse Paul describes the responsibilities of ministers and what we should call them. Should we call them Bishops, wardens, doctors, rabbis, popes, or even senior pastors? No, Paul says, “ this is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ.” He is instructing us to see that first and foremost these people who preach, teach, pastor, and shepherd the flock of God are servants unto Christ! This word translated from Greek is hupereter which means an under-rower. Paul uses this word because the Corinthians knew that the lowest deck of a war galley was made of single rows of benches on both sides of the ship where the rowers sat. Then on a little deck raised up above them all, so that each rower could see him, was the captain of the ship. It was the rowers' task to row according to what he said. If he wanted the ship to move then they were to row; if he wanted them to stop they had to stop instantly. Their whole business was to obey his orders. Now, that is the word that Paul uses to describe those who are teachers, preachers and ministers of the Word of God within the congregation of the Church. They are "under-rowers" of Christ.

Paul says, This is how we should see and think of ministers of Christ. That they are not big shots, they are not among you as browbeating leaders with the last word to utter. They are servants of Christ, under-rowers with their eyes fixed on Jesus. What he tells them to say that is what they are to say, and what he tells them not to do that is where their limits are.

As ministers of Christ this is what we should want people to think about us as they see us ministering among them. Or do you my sister, my friend merely want people to see you and your glory? Do you want them to hear your words and lift you high? Are you merely just trying to give them an experience with Jesus? Have you allowed yourself, this world, its expectations, and its standards to block your view of the captain of the ship, the true master of your fate?

Paul stresses to us in Galatians 1:10 “ If I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of Christ.” You can not do both! We are not to be paying attention to what the congregation, or any one group within the congregation, wants to hear, but we are to say what the Lord tells us to say. That is what the servant of Christ, the under-rower of Christ, must do. Trust that wherever the Lord (the captain) is leading me to take those that I have been entrusted with then that is where I must go! As an huperetes, an under-rower, of Christ, and it is my responsibility to say and do what Jesus says and tells me to do.

When the burden of ministry was placed on my heart I RAN! Not because I could not do it. I knew I could do it. I knew I could do it well, anything that I put my mind to I have succeeded in! Two main reasons why I ran was because I knew where people would place me and I knew that my vanity, my self seeking pride would destroy me. As years would pass the Lord would break my pride all the way down to the point that I had no choice but to depend and trust Him in every way. Yet, my view was still a little blurred. I could not see the captain, I honestly did not know where I was rowing because I was so concerned where people would place me. What would they think of a Black Woman from Mississippi teaching and preaching the Word of God? Will they raise me too high where the air is thin, my thoughts are shallow and Jesus is nowhere to be found. Will they lower me so low that my voice is unheard and overshadowed, where my value is only in a title and not being made in the image of God. Then it hit me right in the throat “What will Jesus say?” Will Christ be able to look at you and say, “Well done, good and faithful SERVANT”?

My sisters the question is not are you a minister. We are all ministers. The question is are you a servant of Christ and not of yourself or this world. As you think about the ways you might be called to serve and lead others, are your eyes on the captain? Are they fixed on Jesus?

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