Dear GCI Family,
We are entering our first round of Regional Conferences – renamed “Regional Celebrations.” So, what’s changing? The emphasis is different. Rather than a focus on training, we will emphasize worship, inspiration and relationship building. There will be activities for families, youth, and all ages. No doubt, this will be a GCI good time!
The celebration will begin on Friday evening in your region and will end with a worship service and communion on Sunday. In addition, we will offer specific training for pastors and ministry leaders on Friday. (Check with your Regional Director for details.) This training will follow the theme of Healthy Leaders for Healthy Churches. In preparation for this time we ask that you and your team review and discuss the video series REAL Teams. U.S. Superintendent Michael Rasmussen and I are excited to join with your regional director in this day of helpful, valuable training.
As we prepare to gather at the Regional Celebrations let’s ask ourselves, “What is the attitude of a healthy leader?” For the answer, let’s go straight to the leader of all leaders.
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although he existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:5-8 NASB)
Jesus took on the form of a “doulos,” a bondservant. A permanent role of service – in his case it was absolute subjugation to the will of the Father, fulfilling the divine purpose of humanity’s salvation and the ever-present vision of the kingdom of God.
Both Peter and Paul identify themselves as bondservants to Jesus; knowing that they were bought at the highest of all prices and that their position of servitude was permanent. They were totally comfortable with the title of bondservant of Jesus Christ.
Being a bondservant to Christ means that at some point in our spiritual development as we explore the magnitude of who Jesus is, and then who we are in him that we become sold out. It becomes our desire to serve him with all that we are. Our simple faith grows to a point we can truly trust and say, “I am his.” In other words, “I totally belong to Christ as his property, his doulos. Jesus Christ is Lord over all of me. He is my Lord and my Master, my Savior, my King, my Friend and there is no better place for me to be.”
This is the heart of a healthy leader – being sold out for Jesus. Of course, there is no way we would or could become bondservants to Jesus without him being the first and perfect bondservant. Join me in trying to wrap your mind around this – Jesus, God in the flesh, accepted the limitations of humanity, set aside his divine powers, and masked his glory in the role of a suffering servant. This is our King and Lord who lives and moves in us and beckons us to walk in his tracks.
No matter your title or position in GCI think deeply about your status in Jesus as a bondservant to him. This is where healthy leadership begins. I look forward to sharing more on this topic at the regional celebrations. See you there!
8 thoughts on “Bondservant Leadership”
Thanks for taking the lead by setting the tone in this, Greg. Our service to Christ also leads to the same service to one another, doesn’t it? Interesting how in Gal. 5:1, Paul calls the law a ‘yoke of slavery’ then contrasts in v.13, “use your freedom [from slavery]…through love serve one another as a bondslave.” Ours is a high and a deep calling indeed.
I have long prayed for this bent on worship to become not just a part of who we see ourselves in Christ but who we are in Christ. I am inspired by these commentarie introducing our congregations ito what the Apostle Paul beautifully explains in Romans chapter 6.
To serve our Lord and His church in carrying out our mission to reach out to the world proclaiming forgiveness, reconciliation, restoration, freedom, and eternal life in the Kingdom, is a tremendous and humbling calling and honor. I have incessantly kept asking our God to open up more doors of opportunity for His love to shine through us so that in some way we may become a blessing in the lives of the people we come in contact with. Although I often fall short in practice, I feel no shame in saying that I do not intend to ever give up that deep and heartfelt desire as the Lord keeps shaping and molding us to serve His purposes.
Amen! Am yoking with Jesus as He is yoking with the Father. Jesus always self-emptying of Himself so He can receive from the Father. That is also my prayer, that I may continue to self-emptying of myself, (deny yourself) so I can receive from Him to the one who loves me and gave Himself for me. That is who he is, bondservant and that is also my prayer, to be like Him in serving the church
I’ve been studying John 12:1-8 for several days now. This fits right in with the sacrifice and commitment Mary made to Christ when she broke the alabaster jar and poured the entire contents of valuable oil over Jesus! She was ALL in! Thanks for the food for thought!
Thanks Greg for the message, There is no better place to be, a bondservant, one who belongs to Jesus Christ! Accepted in the Beloved by God Eph 1:6 and enabled to be used in His Work as He Wills!
Thank God for the freedom to be his Bondservant in Christ Jesus.
“O what love that he should die for me, Saving grace thus to supply for me”.
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