This was a chant that the cheerleaders did in Junior High. I still remember it nearly 20 years later. (I didn’t make the cheerleading squad, but that’s another blog…) Even as pre-teens, we were convinced that the only place that the Wolverines were worthy of being is FIRST.
Although it’s an appropriate perspective for a junior high basketball game, when I see it in the daily lives of Christians or in ministry, I want to kick the “whoopee” out of someone.
Somewhere inside of us there is a wrong mentality that we must be the “most important”. We must have the title and the prestige. We must sit at the right hand of Jesus. It’s a centuries old issue that remains in all of our hearts to a degree.
And yet, the Scripture so clearly outlines that the last shall be first and the first shall be last. That those who just diligently serve with a pure heart, not caring about the accolades, will be given what is due them. That those who assume they are unworthy to sit at the table will be given the seat of honor.
We have the greatest team surrounding us at North Creek. They are talented, funny, creative, intelligent, and capable of balancing mountains on top of a toothpick. But honestly, as Mark and I talk about them behind their backs, we really don’t hang our pride on those attributes. What we talk about all of the time is their servant’s hearts, their loyalty, their self-sacrificing drive to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ, and their love for people. That is what sets them apart. We can hire talent. That’s an easy commodity. What is far more rare is humility.
We fight to have a church that is serving and accepting. We fight to be humble and grateful for our salvation. We grow people in their gifts, even if that means we struggle along the way because people fail when they grow. We want a whole bunch of #2’s running around our community. In the end, they will have a much greater impact on the world because they look so different that “normal”.
And here’s the irony…the very thing that we care the least about will be given to us anyway. We serve such a backwards God, but I think He knows that when you are given glory after having served long enough, you treat it with the appropriate amount of attention. It is in servanthood that you understand the irrelevance of what the world values.