“He who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 10:38 39)

My former Pastor, Dr. Jim Clemmons, once said to me, “Marshall! In 30 years of ministry, I have never had it my way.” He was gently telling me that being a Christian leader, a pastor, was a life of self-sacrifice.  As Christians we are commanded (Phil 2:3-4) look to serve the needs of others over our own – no matter how great or pressing, demanding or sacrificial.

Do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one?  Martha was busy trying to serve the needs of the many, yet Christ said Mary had chosen the better thing.  Sometimes we can make ourselves believe we are doing good work and ignore being at Jesus’ feet.

“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3 4).

Christ came to serve — not to be served. He came to humble Himself to “even death on a cross.” Have you ever thought about serving someone(s) so much it cost you your life?  Dr. Clemmons was saying that in this very moment we are given God-opportunities to serve. Even if it’s just one!  In God’s economy everything we do is “foolish and backward.”  Leadership is being an example servant.  Greatness is to be less, seeking to get underneath people – so you can lift them up. We may think we are doing gospel work to serve the needs of many, but in that busyness, many times we lose the moment to serve the critical need of the one. If you want to lead – serve! If you want to be lifted up – fall down! If you want to live – die!

As worship leaders, we are tempted to believe that our talents help bring people to the knowledge of the Truth, the Way, the Life – the Gospel. The truth is “No man comes unless he is called by the Spirit.”  Furthermore, only God can draw you nearer to Himself. When a believer believes he/she had any part in their salvation – they are lost. Our all-powerful, omniscient God set things in motion at the foundation of the world and knew then – the names of His children. Be an empty vessel for Him to fill with His Spirit!  Give cheerfully instead of take. Give cheerfully instead of want. Give cheerfully instead of need.  An emptied life, void of self, will be filled by the Light of Christ and “bring many sons to Glory.”  This is the true character of a Christian leader.

Praise the Father! We are delivered by His mighty right hand – Jesus Christ! Hallelujah!

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