I have eight brothers, seven of them being older than I am, with their ages stretching from three years to fifteen years my senior. So, you could say that I am well versed in the art of being treated, usually for better, as a little brother.
I had to smile recently when a brother in the Lord, a dozen years older than I, said that he had always seen me as an equal. Though he has always been a tower of strength in my life, I assured him that he has always treated me like a little brother—it is a natural impulse.
The Faith-Family has unique expressions of love, loyalty, and service. Congregational leadership has many layers, and to fully understand its decision-making process can require some patient study.
Jesus condemned the religious leaders for lording it over the people in God’s name. He was not going to have the citizens of his Kingdom elevate themselves one above another. He plainly stated: “But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers” (Matthew 23:8).
In fact, the role of all those who serve in the kingdom (and that’s all of us), is to treat others as more important than ourselves.
It is not hard to tell when the leaders in a congregation cease to be servants—They start to act as though they are doing the brethren a favour for being there. Jesus expressed it this way:
“The kings of the world rule over their people, and those who have authority over others want to be called ‘the great providers for the people’ (Luke 22:25ERV).
Jesus goes on to paint a simple but powerful picture of those he considers most qualified to be in charge:
“But you must not be like that. The one with the most authority among you should act as if he is the least important. The one who leads should be like one who serves.” (Luke 22:26ERV).