In past times as I have grown to see Jesus more clearly I have also grown in my desire to serve others. It makes sense that I would resemble Him more as I see Him and His example. Jesus demonstrated this in His life and ministry and as I have understood more fully my union with Him I notice His Spirit moving me to live for others. I want to be a servant and a minister. I have been taught that this is the role of a deacon in the church. With this knowledge my mind moved in the direction of being recognized as a deacon so that I would have more opportunity to serve the body. Yet, I have consistently been wary of moving in that direction because I perceived within myself that my desire to serve was being replaced by a desire to be recognized so that I might be sought out for service.
Now that I gather with believers in a more participatory fashion, my desire to serve hasn't diminished but it is no longer being answered with a desire for recognition. Sure, when I serve others it is a joy to see the recipients of God's grace glorifying Him due to my ministry and the praise of His glorious grace should be my desire in all I do. My difficulty comes in knowing how bent I am for my own praise and recognition and it seems that positions and titles only promote this kind of self exaltation and all in the name of Jesus!
Maybe we should think of words such as minister, deacon, pastor, shepherd, elder, leader and teacher as adjectives (describing a person) rather than prepositions (positions a person is in) so that the works are magnified rather than the person. Maybe then I would have been free to serve without feeling as though I had to be recognized as qualified before I obeyed. I can't blame grammatical error for my own sins of ommission. Still though, if I am not alone in feeling unqualified because I am not recognized then in light of the consistent admonishment and exhortation for all members to serve one another we read in scripture, maybe we should hand a millstone around our necks next time we participate in an ordination for causing little ones to stumble.
Agree? please share your experience
Disagree? Is there scripture I should consider more that would help shape my understanding?