Sunday, June 13, 2010

Ministers as Kitchen Managers

"This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy." (1 Corinthians 4:1-2, ESV)

Instructive is what these descriptions eliminate in our typical view of Christian ministers. Servants of Christ are necessarily not servants of man, though we typically use terms such as "servant-leader." Leaders in the church are certainly servants, but servants of Christ, and lead Christ's flock through serving Him. It is only in serving Christ and in leading his people that Christian ministers serve their congregation.

A minister should consider his service to the flock, but when the congregation views its minister as serving it, rather than serving Christ, problems arise.

Similarly, ministers are stewards of God's mysteries: that is, they are responsible for delivering God's revelation through exposition and application to those who hear it. Some, however, view the minister as a misguided kitchen manager, who, instead of serving up fresh, nutritious meals to his patrons, instead either hoards all the goods to attain a well-stocked pantry, or only serves the one course he finds interesting or easy to prepare.

The faithful minister serves up dishes from all of God's word, not just those that please the palate of his diners, or that land him a photo in the culinary arts journal.

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