[anzac] "SENIOR" - SHOULD WE USE IT??

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From: "ANZAC Prophetic List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Sat, 11 Oct 2003 12:10:50 +1300
From:           "Bryan Hupperts" <deepsheep@...>

"SENIOR" - SHOULD WE USE IT??
-Bryan Hupperts  (Oct 3, 2003).

As a former pastor turned writer, I try to be sensitive to the different
positions that honest believers in Jesus hold to and I seek to honor
those who live lives of Christian service. It’s a tough gig, err, calling.

One night, I was working on my “ministerial resume,” wrestling even
how to create such a beast. What should I list, numbers of souls
saved? Hours clocked in prayer and study? How about an essay about how
I have proudly grown in humility? The more I wrote, the goofier the
whole exercise seemed.

We base so much of the way we do ministry on the western corporate
business model. We have a campus, and office, a secretary, et al, and
could look pretty much like any business office in America. And we are
in a business, the Father’s business. Even Jesus said, in Luke 2:49,
“I must be about My Father's business." The vast difference is that we
are in the people processing business.

We take raw materials, sinners, and, by the work of the Holy Spirit
and our witness, change them to Christians. Then we help them along
the highway of holiness walking in love and fellowship. Ok, knock
down, drag out fights, too, but hey, we’re all learning, aren’t we?

Anyway, I was writing up my ministry resume and I came to the part
where I pastored a small southern Missouri church. My title? Senior
Pastor. Now technically there were no Junior, err, Associate Pastors
on staff, but it looked good, you know, religiously impressive and
powerful. Ah, Bryan Hupperts, Senior Pastor.

Clang!

The peace that governs my spirit suddenly dissipated. A nauseating,
uneasy queasy agitation arose that warned me something had violated my
relationship with God. I began to pray and ask the Lord to show me.

Finally, in the familiar quite voice of his, I felt him ask, “How dare
you?”

“How dare I what, Lord?”

“”How dare you take a prerogative that I have reserved for myself and
usurp my authority in my Body?”

I gulped inwardly and asked for revelation. It came like a flood. He
showed me that the title Senior Pastor is just another way of saying
Chief Shepherd, a title that has reserved for himself alone. In 1
Peter 5:2-4 we are commanded, “Shepherd the flock of God which is
among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not
for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those
entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock (i.e.:
under-shepherds); and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will
receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.”

Whoops. I am called an under-shepherd, not a Chief Shepherd!

Authority in the kingdom of God is the power to serve, to be a
servant. Many ministry titles in the Christian church sound so very
ecclesial and importantly pompous, but all they really mean is
servant, or better, busboy. Busboy? In he Greek, that’s what servant
means. Try putting that on your ministry resume! Bryan Hupperts,
Busboy. It lacks an air of importance and power. Egad! It reeks of
humility! Yet if we adopted the term Busboy for spiritual servants, in
no time at all there would be those who would assert themselves as the
Headwaiter, or Maitre d'hotel!

Flesh never dies easy, does it?

Regardless of the capacity in which I am allowed to serve, I will
never again call myself the Senior Pastor, the Chief Shepherd, again.
Wait. Didn’t Paul call himself “Chief?” Oh yes, the chief of sinners!
Since Jesus is the Head, I am now blessedly content to serve along
side my fellow servants.

So how will people know who is in authority at church? That’s easy.
He’ll be the guy serving!

Wanna settle this controversy with the authority of the Bible? Read
on. Mark 10:42- 43, “But Jesus called them (his disciples) to Himself
and said to them, ‘You know that those who are considered rulers over
the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise
authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever
desires to become great among you shall be your servant (your bus
boy).  And whoever of you desires to be first (Senior) shall be slave
of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to
serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.’"

If there are any Senior Pastors out there, I lovingly suggest that you
prayerfully consider ordering new business cards and stationary. Now
pardon me, this bus boy has go and clean up some of the life messes
made by a few erring saints. That’s what bus boys do.
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