For Our Pastor To Be A True Servant Of God

6 Traits of a Pastor in Awe of God

For Our Pastor To Be A True Servant Of God

What traits does the awe of God produce in the heart of a pastor that are vital for an effective, God-honoring, and productive ministry? Here is a list of six.

1. Humility

There is nothing standing without defense before the awesome glory of God to put you in your place, correct a distorted view of yourself, yank you functional arrogance, and take the winds the sails of your self-righteousness.

In the face of his glory I am left naked with no glory whatsoever left to hold before myself or anyone else. As long as I am comparing myself to others I can always find someone whose existence seems to make me look righteous by comparison.

But if I compare my filthy rags to the pure and forever unstained linen of God’s righteousness, I want to run and hide in heart-breaking shame.

This is what happened to Isaiah, recorded in chapter six.

He stands before the awesome throne of God’s glory and says, “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” (Isaiah 6:5) Isaiah is not speaking in formal religious hyperbole here.

He is not trying to ingratiate himself with God by being oh so humble. No, he learns that only in light of the awesome glory and holiness of God do you see an accurate view of yourself and the depth of your need for the rescue only a God of glorious grace can provide.

Somewhere along the way in ministry too many pastors have forgotten who they are. They have a bloated, distorted, grandiose view of themselves that renders them largely unapproachable and allows them to justify things they think, desire, say, and do that simply are not biblically justifiable. I have been there and at times fall back there again.

At these times I need to be rescued from me. When you are too much in awe of you, you’re set up to be a self-righteous, controlling, over-confident, judgmental, unfalteringly opinionated ecclesiastical autocrat.

You unwittingly build a kingdom whose throne will be inhabited by you, no matter how much you  convince yourself that you do it all for the glory of God.

2. Tenderness

The humility that only awe of God can produce in my heart produces pastoral tenderness toward people who need the same grace. No one gives grace better than a person who is deeply persuaded that he needs it himself and receives it from Christ.

This tenderness makes me gracious, gentle, patient, understanding, and hopeful in the face of others’ sin, while never compromising God’s holy call.

It protects me from deadly assessments , “I can’t believe you would do such a thing,” which tell me I’m essentially different from everyone else. It’s hard to bring the gospel to people when you’re looking down your nose at them.

Facing others’ sin, awe-inspired tenderness frees me from being an agent of condemnation or from asking the law to do what only grace can accomplish and motivates me to be a tool of that grace.

3. Passion

No matter what is or isn’t working in my ministry, no matter what difficulties I am facing, no matter what battles I am fighting, the expansive glory of God gives me reason to get up in the morning and do what I have been gifted and called to do with enthusiasm, courage, and confidence. My joy isn’t handcuffed to circumstances or relationships.

My heart isn’t yanked wherever they go. I have reason for joy because I am a chosen child and a conscripted servant of the King of kings and Lord of lords, the great Creator, the Savior, the Sovereign, the Victor, the One who reigns and will reign forever. He is my Father, my Savior, and my Boss. He is ever near and ever faithful.

My passion for ministry does not come from how I am being received. It flows the reality that I have been received by him. I’m not enthusiastic because people me, but because he has accepted and sent me. I’m not passionate because ministry is glorious, but because God is eternally and unchangeably glorious.

So I preach, teach, counsel, lead, and serve with a gospel passion that inspires and ignites the same in the people around me.

4. Confidence

Confidence, that inner sense of well-being and capability, comes from knowing the One I serve. He is my confidence and ability. He will not call me to a task unless he has enabled me to do it. He has more zeal for the health of his church than I ever will.

No one has more interest in the use of my gifts than the One who gave them. No one has more zeal for his glory than he does. He is ever-present and ever-willing. He is all-powerful and all-knowing. He is boundless in love and glorious in grace.

He does not change; he is faithful forever. His word will not cease to be true. His power to save will never be exhausted. His rule will not run out. He will never be conquered by one greater than himself.

I can do what I have been called to do with confidence, not because of who I am, but because he is my Father, and he is glorious in every way.

5. Discipline

Ministry isn’t always glorious. Sometimes your naïve expectations have proven to be just that—-naïve. Sometimes it’s going to take more than ministry success and the appreciation of people to pull you bed to fulfill your calling.

Sometimes you won’t much see much fruit as the result of your labors and won’t have much hope of seeing a harvest anytime soon. Sometimes you will think you have been betrayed and feel alone.

So your discipline must be rooted in something deeper than a horizontal assessment of how things appear to be going. I am more and more persuaded in my own life that sturdy self-discipline, the kind that is essential in pastoral ministry, is rooted in worship.

The awesome glory of God’s existence, character, plan, presence, promises, and grace gives me reason to work hard and not give up, no matter whether we are in a “good” season or one that is stormy.

6. Rest

Finally, as I face my weaknesses and the messiness of the local church, what gives me rest of heart? Glory gives you rest. It is the knowledge that nothing is too hard for the God whom you serve. It is the surety that all things are possible with him. It is knowing, with Abraham, that the one who made all those promises is faithful.

There may seem to be many horizontal reasons to be anxious, but I will not let my heart be captured by worry or fear, because the God of inestimable glory who sent me has made this promise: “I will be with you.” I don’t have to play games with myself.

I don’t have to deny or minimize reality in order to feel okay, because he has invaded my existence with his glory, and I can rest even in the brokenness between the “already” and the “not yet.”

Getting Your Awe Back

I don’t have a set of strategies for you in conclusion. But I counsel you to run now, run quickly, to your Father of awesome glory. Confess the offense of your boredom. Plead for eyes opened to the 360-degree, 24/7 display of glory to which you have been blind.

Determine to spend a certain portion of every day in meditating on his glory. Cry out for the help of others. And remind yourself to be thankful for Jesus, who offers you his grace even at those moments when grace isn’t nearly as gloriously valuable to you as it should be.

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Five Marks of a Servant Leader

For Our Pastor To Be A True Servant Of God

All professing Christians agree that a Christian leader should be a servant leader. Jesus couldn’t be clearer:

“The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves.” (Luke 22:25–26)

Where there’s not always agreement is how servant leadership should look in a given situation. Sometimes servant leaders wash others’ feet, so to speak (John 13:1–17), but other times they rebuke (Matthew 16:23), and even discipline (Matthew 18:15–20). Sometimes they serve at their own expense (1 Corinthians 9:7), but other times they issue strong imperatives (1 Corinthians 5:2; 11:16).

Wading into Muddy Waters

Other factors muddy the waters even more for us. To begin with, all Christian leaders have indwelling sin, which means even at the height of their maturity, they will still be defective servants. Add to this the fact that most leaders have not yet reached their height of maturity.

Add to this the fact that all Christian followers also have indwelling sin and most haven’t reached our height of maturity either.

Add to this the fact that different temperaments, experiences, giftings, and callings influence both how certain leaders tend to serve, and how certain followers tend to perceive that leadership — a leader’s genuine attempt to serve might be interpreted by a genuine follower as an attempt to “lord it over” them (2 Corinthians 1:24). And then there are wolfish, self-serving leaders who, while deceiving their followers, appear for a time to behave in ways similar to servant leaders.

“A servant leader sacrificially seeks the highest joy of those he serves.” So, determining whether or not a leader is acting from a heart of Christ service requires charitable, patient, humble discernment. It’s not simple. There’s no one-size-fits-all servant leader description.

The needs and contexts in the wider church are vast and varied, and require many different kinds of leaders and gifts. We must guard against our own unique biases when assessing leaders’ hearts.

Each of us is more or less drawn to certain kinds of leaders, but our preferences can be unreliable and even uncharitable standards.

Marks of a Servant Leader

Still, the New Testament instructs us to exercise due diligence in discerning a Christian leader’s fitness (see, for instance, 1 Timothy 3:1–13). What traits do we look for in a leader that suggest his fundamental orientation is Christ servanthood? This list is by no means exhaustive, but here are five fundamental indicators.

1. A servant leader seeks the glory of his Master

And his Master is not his reputation or his ministry constituency; it is God.

Jesus said, “The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood” (John 7:18).

A Christ leader is a bondservant of Christ (Ephesians 6:6), and demonstrates over time that Christ — not public approval, position, or financial security — has his primary loyalty. In this he “swears to his own hurt and does not change” (Psalm 15:4).

2. A servant leader sacrificially seeks the highest joy of those he serves

This does not conflict with seeking the glory of his Master. Jesus said, “Whoever would be great among you must be your servant . . .

even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:26, 28).

Whatever his temperament, gift mix, capacities, or sphere of influence, he will make necessary sacrifices in order to pursue people’s “progress and joy in the faith,” which results in the greater glory of God (Philippians 1:25; 2:9–11).

3. A servant leader will forgo his rights rather than obscure the gospel

“A servant leader’s identity and trust are not in his calling, but in his Christ.”

Paul said it this way: “I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them” (1 Corinthians 9:19).

What did this mean for him? It meant sometimes he abstained from certain foods and drinks, or refused financial support from those he served, or worked with his own hands to provide for himself, or went hungry, or dressed poorly, or was beaten, or was homeless, or endured disrespect inside and outside the church (1 Corinthians 4:11–13; 9:4–7). And he decided not to marry (1 Corinthians 9:5).

This all before he was martyred. Paul’s servant bar may have been set extraordinarily high, but all servant leaders will yield their rights if they believe more will be won to Christ as a result.

4. A servant leader is not preoccupied with personal visibility and recognition

John the Baptist, a servant leader sees himself as a “friend of the Bridegroom” (John 3:29), and is not preoccupied with the visibility of his own role.

He doesn’t view those with less visible roles as less significant, nor does he covet more visible roles as more significant (1 Corinthians 12:12–26).

He seeks to steward the role he’s received as best he can, and gladly leaves the role assignments to God (John 3:27).

5. A servant leader anticipates and graciously accepts the time for his decrease

All leaders serve only for a season. Some seasons are long, some short; some are abundant, some lean; some are recorded and recalled, most are not. But all seasons end. When John the Baptist recognized the ending of his season, he said, “Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:29–30).

Sometimes a leader is the first to recognize his season’s end, sometimes others recognize it first, and sometimes God lets a season end unjustly for purposes a leader can’t understand at the time. But a servant leader graciously yields his role for the good of Christ’s cause, because his identity and trust are not in his calling, but in his Christ.

Be Gracious with Your Leaders

No earthly Christian leader is the perfect incarnation of these five fundamental marks of servanthood. Jesus alone bears that distinction. The vast majority of our leaders are imperfect servants trying to be faithful.

So, some of the greatest gifts we can give our leaders are 1) our explicit encouragement when we see any of these graces in them (loose our tongues), 2) our quiet patience with their stumbling (hold our tongues), and 3) our charitable judgment and gracious feedback regarding decisions that raise questions and concerns (bridle our tongues). And all three can be as easily applied in speaking about our leaders as in speaking to them.

“The vast majority of our leaders are imperfect servants trying to be faithful.”

If a leader needs help recognizing the ending of his season, let his faithful friends bring a loving, gracious, gentle, and patient encouragement, and if necessary, reproof.

But sometimes, Diotrephes (3 John 9), a leader’s sinful defects are too damaging, or Judas (Luke 6:16), they prove to be a wolf.

At that point a gracious response looks appropriate, godly, mature followers taking the servant initiative to rebuke (Matthew 16:23), and even discipline (Matthew 18:15–20).

We’ll know we’ve reached that point because, after a season of observation, it will become clear that these five marks are conspicuously missing in that leader.

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True Servants of God do not give themselves Titles in their Names

For Our Pastor To Be A True Servant Of God
True servants of God do not give themselves titles in their names

True servants of God do not give themselves titles in their names. Other people may use these titles when referring to them but the servants themselves do not use titles in their names.

Titles are names professor, doctor, honorable, mighty, president, speaker, governor, senator, king, queen, prince, prophet, etc.

Titles speak of you; they say who you are. If you call yourself professor blah blah, that means you are a professor. If you call yourself Dr. blah blah, you are a doctor. If you call yourself President blah blah, you are a president, etc.

Titles elevate, draw honor, glory, recognition, etc to a person.

True servants of God do not give themselves Titles in their Names

True servants of God think themselves as servants.  They think themselves the way Jesus thought Himself.

Phil 2:5: Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus

Jesus thought Himself as a servant to even giving His life on the cross for the salvation of humanity.

A servant does not elevate, draw glory, honor and recognition to her/himself but to her/his master. A servant does not glorify or honor her/himself but it is the master who glorifies and honors her/his servant.

As a servant, Jesus did not seek His own glory and honor but God the father glorified and honored the son.

John 8:50: And I seek not mine own glory

John 8:54: Jesus answered, If I honor myself, my honor is nothing: it is my Father that honors me

It is God who honors and glorifies His servants not the servants to glorify and honor themselves.

John 12:26: If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honor.

A title speaks of you; it is about you. Using a title in your name is seeking your own glory, honor, fame and recognition from human beings.

John 7:18: He who speaks of himself seeks his own glory: but he who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him.

True servants of God do not seek honor, glory, fame or recognition. It is Jesus Christ who honors and glorifies them.

They do not give themselves titles in their names for the honor and glory to go to their master, Jesus Christ, not to themselves.

They do not speak of their own or draw fame, attention and recognition to themselves but they draw all glory to Jesus Christ.

By the time God releases His true servants from the ‘desert’ for them to do His work, a servant is so crashed and humbled that s/he does not want any glory to come to him/her but to go to his/her master (God).

A true God servant knows that s/he is nothing but just a vessel being used.

And for you to be nothing, in the desert when you’re molded for the gospel, you lose everything Apostle Paul.

Phil 3:8: Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but rubbish, that I may win Christ,

You totally decrease for Jesus to increase. Yourself totally dies. You become the least of all saints and God’s servants for you to be great in the kingdom of heaven and be completely poured out for the gospel.

In the kingdom of heaven, Apostle Paul is great but on earth he totally humbled himself becoming the least of all saints and servants of God.

1 Cor 15:9: For I am the least of the apostles, that am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

Eph 3:8: Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given

When you come the ‘desert’, from being molded and prepared for the gospel of Jesus Christ, you cannot use a title in your name. You cannot want any glory, honor, fame or recognition to come to you.

For three years I was crushed and I lost everything. I become nothing and I count all those things rubbish. I am the least of all saints and not worthy to be a servant of God but only by His grace.

As a true servant of God, people may use a title when referring to you but you yourself you do not use a title in your name. You refer to yourself as a servant (the least).

God may use a title a prophet to you but you do not use that title to yourself. It is God to glorify you not you to glorify yourself.

In the Bible God servants used no titles in their names

All God servants in the Bible called themselves, ‘servants’ with no other title even when God defined clearly who they are;

1. Moses

Even when God made Moses a god to pharaoh, nowhere in the Bible Moses calls Himself god – ‘god Moses’.

Ex 7:1: And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh

Moses was indeed a prophet but nowhere do we see Moses calling Himself ‘Prophet Moses’.

Det 34:10: And there arose not a prophet since in Israel unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face

Though Moses was a god to pharaoh and a prophet he referred to himself as a servant; a servant of the LORD.

Ex 4:10: And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since you spoken unto your servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

Num 11:11: And Moses said unto the LORD, Why have you afflicted your servant?  and why have I not found favor in your sight, that you lay the burden of all this people upon me?

By being a servant, all the glory and honor went to the LORD not to Moses and this made people fear the LORD and believe in Him.

Ex 14:31: And Israel saw that great work which the LORD did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD, and his servant Moses.

When glory and honor is coming to yourself but not to the LORD, people are not draw to God neither do they fear nor believe in Him.

Although Moses was a god to pharaoh and a prophet, he was a servant of the LORD and God referred to him as a servant.

Num 12:7: My servant Moses is not so

Num 12:8: …Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?

Joshua 1:2: Moses my servant is dead

2. Samuel

Samuel was indeed established to be a prophet of the LORD but nowhere do we see Samuel calling himself ‘Prophet Samuel’.

1 Sam 3:20: And all Israel from Dan even to Beer-sheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the LORD.

Samuel knew he was a prophet and other people called himself a prophet but he did not call himself a prophet but a servant.

1 Sam 3:10: And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel.  Then Samuel answered, ‘Speak; for your servant hears’.

3. Isaiah

Isaiah was indeed a prophet of the LORD but nowhere in the Bible do we see Isaiah calling himself ‘Prophet Isaiah’.

4. Jeremiah

Jeremiah was a prophet of the LORD but nowhere in the Bible do we see Jeremiah calling himself ‘Prophet Jeremiah’.

Jer 1:5: Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou comes forth the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

Even when Jeremiah knew from God that he was ordained to be a prophet, he didn’t ever call himself a prophet but remained a servant.

5. Jonah

Jonah was sent to prophesy and bring Nineveh to repentance. He was a prophet but nowhere do we see him call himself ‘Prophet Jonah’.

6. John the Baptist

John the Baptist was greater than all born of women

Mt 11:11: Verily I say unto you, among them that are born of women there has not risen a greater than John the Baptist

He was more than a prophet

Mt 11:9: But what went you out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.

But John was so humble living in the wilderness eating locusts and wild honey.

Mt 3:4: And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.

Mt 11:8: But what went you out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses.

When asked who he was he said,

John 1:19-23: And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who are you? And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then? Are you Elias? And he said, ‘I am not’.

Are you that prophet? And he answered, No. Then said they unto him, Who are you? that we may give an answer to them that sent us.

What say you of yourself? He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Isaiah.

See clearly that John did not even give himself a title defining himself (saying who he was) neither did he say he was a prophet yet he was more than a prophet. He said he is a voice. Being a voice means he is just a vessel conveying the voice thus a servant.

7. John

Through John we received the Revelation of Jesus Christ (Book of revelation) but John did not call himself a prophet nor elevate himself. Instead he calls himself a servant.

Rev 1:1: The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John

Even angels call themselves servants

Rev 19:10: And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant,

All Biblical witnesses of the gospel did not give themselves titles but they all did marvelous works.

Who are you then giving yourself a title to elevate, draw glory and honor to yourself? Are you greater than Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, Jonah, Paul, John the Baptist, etc? If Jesus was a servant, who are you elevating yourself yet claiming to be His servant?

Brood of Vipers, Ravening wolves in sheep’s clothing capitalize on titles

Broods of vipers, ravening wolves in sheep’s clothing capitalize on titles. This is to elevate themselves in the eyes of humanity drawing glory and honor to themselves.

They call themselves, ‘Prophet blah blah’, ‘DR. Prophet blah blah’, ‘King blah blah’, ‘Queen blah blah’, and so many other titles.

They are of the devil. They are not serving the God they claim to serve. Brood of vipers! Ravening wolves in sheep’s clothing!

And they even preach another gospel not Jesus Christ; prosperity gospel: – a false damnation gospel.

See exposing ravening wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Flee from them.

But when we true servants of God come humbled with no titles to ourselves, drawing no honor, glory and recognition to ourselves, coming purely in the name of Jesus Christ, you receive us not but you receive these broods of vipers coming in their own names.

John 5:43: I am come in my Father’s name, and you receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him you will receive.

All True servants of God refer to themselves as ‘servants’ because indeed they are servants serving their master. They are vessels doing the will of their master and the glory and honor goes to their master not to them. Reason they do not use titles in their names. They know God owns it all.

Open your eyes and see.

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