In my Heartlight.org article this week, “More than a Fork in the Road,” I talk about the term used widely in the by Jesus and the rest of the New Testament to describe leaders — the word is diakonos (and related forms) and it simply means “table servant.” For a chart giving an overview of the use of this term for servant, follow this link: http://www.heartlight.org/handouts/serving.pdf
Jesus demonstrated it in the washing of his closest followers feet on the night he was betrayed (John 13:1-17) and then told them what the event meant so they would get over having to try to be “first” among his followers:
A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. (Luke 22:24-27 TNIV)
Why is it so hard for us to see the essence of church leadership as simply serving each other?
What makes it easier for us to view church as a service for us rather than a community where we are to serve others?
In Jesus’ day, a table servant was a low paid family servant, a woman or a child. Why do you think Jesus, and the early church after him, chose this term to describe its leaders?
Do you believe the following?
No matter how true the message and no matter how powerful the messenger, both messenger and message will not produce the results intended if the people who share it, receive it, and believe it won’t serve others like Jesus.