This morning I want to share with you what may perhaps be my favorite blog post of all time.
Two weeks ago tomorrow I got to see something pretty extraordinary. My wonderful, loving, valorous girlfriend, Rebecca, who is currently leading a team of youth and adults from the church she serves on a missions trip to help repair houses in Appalachia (eshet chayil!), was ordained a minister in the United Church of Christ! What made the day all the more special was that her father, himself a retired U.C.C. minister, preached the sermon for the ordination service.
So what I share with you this morning is the sermon he preached:
An Ordination Sermon: The Secret Sauce of Ministry. A Recipe in Two Parts
… Our society cultivates a cult of personality, a cult of celebrity, but ministry is not about that. There are celebrity ministers, but the good ones, the faithful ones, know it is not about them.
The word minister actually means one who represents another. The Europeans use it this way in describing their government officials: the minister for finance, or the foreign minister. These are the ones who represent the government in their particular area of expertise
Likewise, a Christian minister is one who represents Jesus Christ. And representing Jesus Christ means taking the form of a servant. Jesus once told his disciples, “Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave; even as the Son of man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mt 20:25-28.)
Not to be ministered to, but to minister. Not to be served but to serve….