Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ones who Serve - Kelly, Matt & Biba

Kelly, Matt and Biba are leading the team in Kosice, Slovakia. They have a difficult task of leading a mixed team of not only staff and new graduates but also Americans and Slovakians. So, their team will need to learn a new world in order to love their team. They landed last week with the reality that they need huge prayer of learning how to live, work and play together. Kelly, Matt and Biba’s desire is to be unified as a team and learn how to love one another despite their differences.

On a ministry note, this week they are in Bratislava and Vienna for an in-country briefing. Okay life is not so hard. When they return they are planning on handing out 2,500 evangelistic CD's on 5 campuses over the next few weeks. Yesterday, their team dreamed about what God might do in Slovakia. They came up: more guy leaders, spiritual multiplication, new believers in every dorm, small groups in every dorm, students stepping up to the plate, and a thriving life-giving ministry. Kelly writes, “These are things we believe are only possible if God does them; that’s why it’s worth it.”

When I think of our teams loving another or even launching thriving life-giving movements, I think of John 13:34, 35. But Matt already spoke on that passage at Copper. (“I’ll get you yet, Mikalatos” said while shaking my fist in the air.) So I will write on what followed. In Luke 22:14-27, we find them reclining at the table for the sedar in which Jesus uses to illustrate his coming suffering and its significance. Then the apostles start a brouhaha over who was the greatest. To add to the ridiculous nature of this is that this is the third time they have locked horns over this subject and each time was right after Jesus spoke of his death. (Mark 9:30-36; Mark 10:32-45). Like were they trying to jockey for position to be next in line for Messiah? To be the Elisha to his Elijah?

Jesus tells them what he tells them each of the previous times they swabbed swords over who was all that and a bag of chips. “You want to be great? You want to be in charge? Be like the last in line. Choose to serve.”

And as in other times, Jesus contrasts how the Gentiles do leadership. (Being a Gentile by birth myself, I will us ‘we’.) We lord it over those under us. We exercise authority. In fact, the unpardonable sin of those under us is someone who struggles with our authority. We call ourselves ‘benefactors’. A benefactor is someone who bequeaths care or money but it’s noticed by others usually with a monument or a building named on their behalf. So even when we ‘serve’ we do it for something we crave - recognition and attention. We call ourselves...

A servant is so different. He is above no one. She exercises zero authority. Who notices a servant? Name me one monument named after a servant. (Okay, you can’t count Jesus.) That’s the key thing, isn’t it? Jesus took the nature of a servant (Phil 2:5-11; Matt 20:28). He is our model. His attitude is the attitude we are to have.

This summer I was talking with someone about how the Korean staff served. Those of you who were there certainly know what I mean. This leader told me that when they first were looking for a Korean word to use for ‘staff’ they discussed words with honor but Dr. Kim said no we are going to use ‘Nobi(I actually don’t remember the exact word he said but it meant ‘house servant’ and ‘Nobi’ is what I found in a search. I called my source to verify that this was the word and will edit if its not.) Dr. Kim said, ‘we are going to known as people who get on our hands and knees and serve’.

What would it look like if we like the Koreans really modeled serving like Christ did? What if we approach our teams, our students, the lost, and our cities as ones who serve? Would we not love another? Would we not be true followers of Christ? What if we laid down our own needs, wants, desires at the foot of the cross and every day asked “Lord, help me to serve. Show me how to serve my team. Show me how to serve my co-leader. Show me how to serve the students on these campuses. Show me how to serve those who are lost and like sheep without a shepherd. Lord, make me a servant.”

We’d rock the world.

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