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No matter what your God given role in His church is, your first position is that of a follower of Jesus. Peter makes this clear when he says, “shepherd the flock of God which is among you.” You are a part of the flock of God. No matter what your role may become, you will always be sheep first. This makes every person in the church equal in the place of servanthood and leadership.

1 Peter 5:1–4 (NKJV) “The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.”

In the corporate world, the leadership model is typically portrayed as a pyramid with the president (or the one in charge) at the top and everyone else filling in below according to their responsibilities. When you look at a church, it’s easy to view things the same way, with the pastor at the top and everyone else filling in below.  That would be a mistake.

Peter makes it clear that the church of Jesus is different. If you used the pyramid model, it would be inverted, with the people who have the most responsibility becoming the greatest servants. Jesus said that “…whoever desires to be great among you, let him be your servant” (Matthew 20:26). If you want to be really great in God’s kingdom, you’ll find yourself growing in humility and servanthood. It’s clear that in God’s kingdom, the way up is the way down!

Matthew 20:25–28 (NKJV) “But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.””

As we serve, it can be easy to forget our place and think that we are the shepherd or that a certain church or ministry is ours. Here’s the reality: you will never be so vital that the church can’t move on without you. The church is not ours, and we don’t serve in our own authority but with God’s. So, no matter what your role is, you should be doing your work for the Lord, filled with His Spirit. That’s why any believer can pray over another believer, visit people in the hospital, bring meals, and more. God is our pastor, and we are all sheep serving Him together.

Take the lower place. It’s yours by divine privilege.

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