I’m a pastor. I’m writing this as Pastor Appreciation Month is underway. As cliché as it sounds, I’m grateful to serve a church that appreciates her pastor 12 months a year. But I’m also thankful Mayhill Baptist usually goes above and beyond in October, as that’s two months from Christmas and every little bit helps as a dad of four!
I’ll also add, especially as a friend of pastors all over the country, some churches do more, some less, and some not at all. Cards are nice, money is great, but we don’t serve for either. Also, since far more than pastors read One Disciple, I’ll be going a slightly different direction from here on out.
Using the whole ‘giving back’ of Pastor Appreciation Month, I want to take a moment to write to leaders of all kinds. Pastors, businessmen or women––if you lead, this word has something for you:
You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are speaking rightly, since that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done for you.
“Truly I tell you, a servant is not greater than his master,and a messenger is not greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them (John 13:13-17 CSB).
Now, as I often say, “You’re not Jesus. I’m not Jesus.” However, there’s something worth noting here as we aim to lead like Jesus.
I’ve been in ministry for over 20 years now, with more than five years as a senior pastor. There were also a few years when I led folks as a boss in the “secular” world during that time. In other words, I’ve led in a variety of capacities for two decades now, and this verse has been a life verse of sorts throughout that time.
I’m far from perfect, but I try to remember a few words: “I’m not better than anybody.”
I might get paid more, an employee might “work for” or answer to me, but I’m not greater than them. Why do I say that? The Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Uncreated One, the Savior of the world…yeah, He washed feet. If Jesus left the glories of heaven to come to serve and save man, no chip ever belongs on my shoulder.
Instead, even when we lead, we serve. Do those you lead know you care for them? Believe in them? Will do anything for them? Even––wait for it––wash their feet? Imagine if every Christian leader in this country entered the office looking for an opportunity to serve their people!
I’m not going to tell you to wash some feet; that’s between you and the Lord. But as you aim to lead like Jesus this week, I am telling you to look for an opportunity to serve those you lead. I suspect you’ll see something real quick: If they know you love ’em, believe in ’em, and so forth––they’ll go where you lead.