Every two years pastors and leaders of the Assemblies of God convene to do church business and be refreshed in spirit and friendship. This week’s was particularly enjoyable for me – as each seem to be, the older I get. Reconnecting with many old friends in ministry can be very encouraging and such times of receiving from others, very strengthening to a pastor.
Actually, a verse of Scripture has been in the forefront of my mind recently and in reflection of this week, freshly applied. In addressing the way God’s Kingdom is built through people (leaders in particular) the apostle Paul gives us one of the most important ‘perspective’ passages of all in 1 Corinthians 3. Paul asks a question and gives an answer in verse 5: “What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task.”
People were running after the ‘famous’ church leaders of that day, even as they do today. I guess it’s just something about human nature. But, Paul calls us to a gut level honest perspective of Kingdom work: men are just servants. Famous men, wonderfully godly men that He uses greatly are still, just servants. And, the key: as each simply fulfills the task God has assigned to them. With this truth connects all kinds of surrounding themes such as talents, gifts, accountability, future judgment and stewardship. All have to do with our God-task.
This week, the thousands that gathered were blessed by the quality leadership we have in our movement of the A/G. Dr. George Wood led with expertise, gavel in hand. Gifted communicators spoke God’s Word to us. Even Rick Warren popped in for a brief window. Sitting just two rows behind him momentarily, I have to admit I was a bit awe struck. Silly me. He’s just another one of those ‘servants’ Paul talked about…just doing his God-task. I could go on and on; but, equal to these stars in ministry is the bi-vocational pastor in the town of 350 and its church of 27 congregants.
I reflect this week, thankful for the present task before me. It’s morphed through the years, and with the change demanded personal growth in scope and responsibility. 27 years ago it was that first Wednesday night with 35 youth…my first God-task. 18 years ago it was a church of 125 and I was officially their ‘senior pastor’. Today, the weight of responsibility feels much greater, yet it’s all still the same – a servant with a God-task.
True of ANY Christ-follower, wherever and whatever God assigns you to, keep your eyes off of others and onto who you are as His servant simply doing what He wants you to do. That’s all He expects and there’s nothing more fulfilling in all the world!