Lesson for the 4th Sunday after Epiphany, January 30th, 2022
Empower Servant Leadership vs. The pastor’s job; monopolized leadership; hiring the young energetic pastor; burning out good volunteers.
All people of God, in the image of Christ, are given the fruit of the Spirit and spiritual gifts meant for building up the Church. In this way, we are all called to serve the Lord, to do our part in membership of the body of Christ. Every part is necessary. Every part is valuable, and every voice is important. Every person should be equipped, nurtured, and supported to use their gifts to glorify God, through servant leadership; not just cliques of powerful people or continual burnout of the same leaders. In keeping with true discipleship formation, churches are called to help all members to be empowered to use their gifts in servant leadership. And, God calls and equips some for the particular task of pastoral ministry, which must be cultivated, nurtured, and trained. Ministry can never be about a single pastor, but it is about identifying, equipping, and empowering those servant leaders God puts in our midst.
A. Biblical References: John 13:2–17; Ephesians 4:1–16; 1 Timothy 4:6–16; Matthew 9:37–38; 1 Samuel 3:2 Timothy 2:14–26; John 13:1–20
The church encourages members, when appropriate, to be “ministers” (priesthood of all believers)
The congregation provides tools and a healthy environment to train and support leaders
The staff and other leaders model servant leadership principles
Develop methods in which voices, ideas, opinions are shared; people are empowered in their faith
Congregation assists people in discerning spiritual gifts for use in service to church and community
C. Potential Outcomes:
Shared power and fresh ideas generated in worship and ministry, not staff or program-driven
The church has healthy expectations of leadership; nurture and support is a shared responsibility
Empowered servant leaders committed and passionate in mission and ministry of the church
Servant leadership is diversified by age, race, gender, etc., as all people identify spiritual gifts and are trained in their call to serve
D. Reflection Questions:
How does your church identify, equip, train, and support its leaders?
Who is the leadership in your church? Is leadership a shared power? Do the same people lead everything?