Sep 22, 2021
Matthew 20:20-28; 1 Peter 5:1-3
We’re right in the middle of our September teaching series simply entitled, “We are Crossgate.”
At Crossgate Church, we have a definition of a disciple that goes like this: “A disciple is a growing follower of Jesus, who lives and loves like Jesus and leads others to follow him.”
If we’re going to “live and love like Jesus,” then that means we should also L-E-A-D . . . lead like Jesus in whatever context he has placed us. If you’re a parent . . . lead like Jesus. If you’re an older sibling . . . lead like Jesus. If you’re a supervisor of anyone in a professional context . . . lead like Jesus. If you’re a husband . . . lead like Jesus. If you’re serving in any leadership capacity in this church . . . lead like Jesus.
We’re going to see today that servant leadership is the ONLY way to lead.
1) The Gold Standard for Servant Leadership (Matthew 20:20-28)
Who is the gold standard for servant leadership? Who is the ultimate pace setter? Jesus Christ!
When Jesus was teaching his disciples on this matter, He drew a comparison between (1) on the one hand worldly power and selfish ambition and (2) on the other hand godly posture and selfless submission. He said, “If you want to be great, you’ve got to be a servant; if you want to be first, you’ve got to be last.”
You’ve heard me say it before and I’ll say it again, “The higher you go, the lower you must be willing to become.”
After giving them his expectation, Jesus then referred to his example—he said, “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve.” In other words, Jesus put his money where his mouth was.
There’s nothing more powerful than an example, and Jesus knew how to give an example, didn’t he?
Regardless of where and in what capacity you lead, I want to strongly encourage you to live, love, and LEAD like Jesus!
2) The Pace Setters in Servant Leadership (1 Peter 5:1-4)
Let’s talk about leadership in our church. We’ve got several types of leaders at Crossgate—LifeGroup leaders, Deacons, Trustees, Ministry Team Leaders, Pastors, Staff, and Elders—and I would expect that all of our leaders are pace-setting, servant leaders. But when it comes to leadership . . . and servant leadership, in particular . . . where does the buck stop?
Yes, it stops with the Elders. (1 Timothy 3:1-7) (Titus 1:5-9)
In the New Testament, each local church had multiple Elders, men appointed by the apostles and key leaders to be responsible for everything that happened or failed to happen in that church.
As the Lead Pastor at Crossgate Church, I’m also the Lead Elder.
I am absolutely committed to setting the pace at Crossgate Church. In fact, I’ve got four priorities for myself as your Lead Pastor and Lead Elder that I’ve had since day one, December 8, 2019: (1) preach the Word, (2) love the people, (3) lead the leaders, and (4) set the pace.
“I am what I am by the grace of God—and not without result. I worked harder than all of them; yet not I, but the grace of God that is within me.” (1 Corinthians 15:10)
I’ve challenged our elders along these same lines. And I’m proud of our Elders. Yes, we gather monthly in the conference room to make big decisions on behalf of our church. But they’ve also shown themselves to be pace-setting servant leaders—from leading LifeGroups and Discipleship Groups to being “basin and towel” men who serve in children’s ministry and waiting tables on Wednesday nights in Wholly Grounds.
So as we prepare to enter into our nominating process this week, I urge you to bathe this in prayer. Our Elders are the foundation of our leadership here at Crossgate Church and we all need to ask God for wisdom and direction as we add proposed leaders to our Elder Board.
I am a huge proponent of transparency, and if you have ANY questions about this process, you can reach me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.