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lead to serve

Our small groups are working their way through the book of Philippians right now as our pastor teaches through it on Sundays. During our staff meeting yesterday Pastor J.D. led a discussion through the first part of Chapter 2. I had read that passage earlier in the morning and something stuck out to me both early that morning and again at staff meeting. That is, in probably one of the most theologically rich portions of scripture in the bible Paul is talking about Christ’s humility.

V.7-8 – but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Those words in bold acknowledge that 4 times in 2 verses (and really 6 if you include death ) Paul mentions christ’s humility. Good bible study tells us that should send up a flare that he is trying to communicate something loud & clear. I think he communicates it in verses 1- 3 where he says

V1: So if there is any encouragement in Christ….V3do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

Basically Paul is laying out that one of the key characteristics of a church who believes the gospel is that they will willingly and lovingly serve one another and hold one another above their own self-interests. This is not religious humility forced onto a group of people through obligation to God, but reactive humility stemming from an encounter with the grace of God.

As we looked at this in staff meeting we were talking about how we identify and develop leaders in our church. For our small groups, the discussion was how do I “identify” leader talent? This message from Paul was incredibly important to help guide me in understanding leader development from a biblical standpoint.

The sign of a “leader” is that he or she is a servant to those around him/her. That sounds simple, but should be deeply challenging to you as it is to me. How are you as a small group “leader” serving your group members? Are you caring for them or are you caring that they show up and participate so you can feel like you lead a good small group? Do you know what is going on in their lives? do you pray for them? Do you sacrifice yourself for them in some fashion?

bottom line, lead a small group to get the chance to serve people. Not to get the chance to lead people.

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