Do you sometimes wonder why people are the way they are? In particular, I am writing concerning Biblical Christianity and God’s design for how assemblies of believers should operate, versus how they sometimes do function. Is it possible that the culture’s mindset and/or model of how businesses operate has seeped into churches? One may wonder what God has to say regarding how His children should organize and minister to others weekly and daily. In a v-log series on Facebook in my tri-weekly “Morning Manna,” I recently finished a series entitled, “Hierarchy Hype,” in which I address this important and far-reaching issue. Part 1 is available here, and part 2 here (see the end of this post for the rest of the links to the series, which continues with a second half entitled, Handling Hierarchy Hype) as I share from both Scripture and first-hand ministry experience!
It is especially noteworthy that God saw fit to record in all three synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) the account of the disciples who became indignant at James and John, after they heard that the mother of James and John had requested that Jesus give her sons special positions on His right and left hand in His kingdom. Matthew recorded that Jesus said, “Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister.” He said this after referring to the “princes of the Gentiles” who “exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.” (The Greek word that is translated “exercise dominion” is the same word that is used in 1 Peter 5:3 where pastors are commanded: “neither as being lords over God’s heritage…”)
Jesus used the situation with the disciples’ indignation as a teaching tool, and He referenced the world’s system of lust for power and authoritative position. He then clearly instructed them:
“But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister.” Matthew 20:26
In Mark, it is translated, “But so it shall not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister“; and in Luke, He said, “But ye shall not be so: but he that is great among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.”
In many ways that affect SO many areas, we see “Hierarchy Hype” today that is eerily reminiscent to what the early believers experienced with the religious leaders in Bible times, as is exemplified particularly in Acts 4-5. While it is not and cannot be to the same extent in America of having the authority to beat or imprison someone else; nonetheless, there are various negative reactions from those who seek to “exercise dominion” over other believers whom they deem to be “under their authority,” as is referenced in Jeremiah 5:31. Jesus told them, “Such shall not be among you.”
Consider checking out the links to less-than-20-minute segments, and let each of us as believers seek to help all of God’s people to see and to follow His wonderful design!