Summary: What the church needs are leaders who will follow the example of Christ and be an example themselves of what it means to be a servant.
- You've heard from Katie, Annie and Darren... but now it's my turn. Why am I thankful for Berean CC? Well there are many reasons, I am thankful for the love and support that you have all shown us over the past 2 and a half years. In our moments of discouragement, and frustration you have proven to be a church that is able to offer us the right words, the comforting comments that encourage us and lift us up. In our moments of celebration and good news, you are a church that has celebrated with us. We are thankful to have a church where our daughter can be raised in a positive, uplifting church environment that will allow her to grow and mature as a child of God. A church filled with people who love us and pray for us, and support us in so many ways. And I could go on and on, describing all the reasons why we are thankful for BCC.
- Perhaps, most of all, for me personally, I am thankful for the leadership of this church. A leadership that has allowed me to make mistakes, allowed me to try new things, to voice new ideas. A leadership which for the most part, has the right priorities about what church should be. A place of encouragement for God's people with the purpose of going out into our world and sharing God's relevant message of hope and forgiveness. I am thankful for a leadership that is willing to come together for prayer... to pray for you, for those who are sick and hurting, for those who are wrestling with the decision to follow Christ, to pray for me and my family.
- You see, the reality is this... the church is only as strong as its leaders. The elders of the church are the ones who are to ultimately set the spiritual direction of the church, the ones who are to be the spiritual protectors of the church. The church is only as strong as its leaders. Or to be more specific, the church is only as strong as its elders.
- For the last 3 weeks we have been focused on 'What the World Needs'. The need for a "relevant church"... a church that matters, that makes a difference in people's lives. The need for a "unified church"... a church that stands together under God to carry out his will and goals for us. And last week, a "giving church"... one that is willing to give of itself to those in need, to the work God wants us to accomplish. But the only way we can be the kind of church the world needs, is if we have the kind of leaders the church needs. What the church needs are Biblical Leaders. That is our focus for the next several weeks... Biblical leadership. The kind of leadership we can all be thankful for.
- And to begin with we will focus our attention on "Servant Leaders." Because what the church needs are "Servant Leaders." And to drive this message home, let us look at a story found in Mark 10:35-45...
- Mark doesn't tell us here, but Matthew in his gospel tells the same story, but in Matthew's telling of it, he lets us know that it wasn't James and John who asked this question of Jesus... it was their who asked the question. They didn't even have the courage to do it themselves, they ran to mommy and had her do the dirty work. Listen to what Matthew says, "Then the mother of James and John came to Jesus with her sons, kneeling down, asked a favor of him."
- And what was it they were asking Jesus. Well, what they were asking is routed in their misunderstanding of who Jesus was and what he was about to do in Jerusalem. You see they thought that Jesus had come with the purpose of earthly power. They thought he was going to stride on into Jerusalem, overthrow the Roman gov't which they despised and then as the Messiah, the Jewish savior, Jesus would make himself King of the World and would sit on the throne and would rule the people as their King. That's what James and John were expecting to happen.
- And with this thought racing through their minds, they sent their mother in with them, to ask Jesus to allow them, James and John to sit in the 2nd and 3rd most prominent positions in this future kingdom Jesus was going to establish. Today it would be like asking to be the Vice-President and Speaker of the House. They wanted to be the #2 and #3 man on the Totem Pole. That was their desire, their wish, and it was their mother who requested it for them.