#Blueprint – Service

Your business has grown and you’ve realized you need to hire a new MD to grow it to the next level. What is the most important quality you would look for?

Blueprint Nov- Facebook Poster

Would you say, ambitious, visionary, risk-takers and self-driven go-getters who are willing to do whatever it took to get your company to the top?

We’re going through a series called ‘Blueprint’, and our thesis is that while Jesus was such an attractive individual that people could not keep away from him, the same is not often true of his followers today! And so we’re exploring His blueprint, how we can live such lives as Gods people that like Jesus we are attractive to the people around us! We’ve learnt that the first step is to realize that you were not created to live for yourself, but instead, God wants to make your life so attractive that you will influence many people for eternity. Then, last week we learnt that none of us was created to be a solo Christian – you were not meant to walk alone!

So today we want to look at the 3rd building block of our BLUEPRINT… Please turn with me to Mk.10.32-45

Christ the Servant Leader

Jesus was the biggest story of his day. Wherever he went, huge crowds were waiting for him. He was trending everywhere. Everyone was liking him and following him. For his disciples this was more than exciting! It seemed that their gamble to leave all behind and follow this unknown rabbi was paying off! How would you feel if one of your dearest and closest friends, who you’ve worked hard to support, was elected to be a governor? As you’re congratulating him or her, what would you be thinking? Unless you’re a real Mother Theresa, you’d probably be positioning yourself and trying to calculate what this good fortune means for you! After all, you’re the one who was there from the beginning! You invested when no one else believed in this opportunity! Now it’s time for payback!

But Jesus seemed to be on a completely different wavelength: Instead of celebrating his popularity, he began to tell his disciples that the time was coming when he would face rejection, suffering and ultimately death. His disciples didn’t like it at all! At one point, Peter took him aside and rebuked him for speaking so negatively, and that’s when Jesus told him, ‘get behind me, Satan! You do not have in mind the things of God but the things of men’. You can read that story starting from Mk.8:31. With such a public rebuke, you’d imagine the matter was settled! But no – a second time he found them in a furious argument about who was the greatest. I mean we all know Jesus is the greatest… but after him, whose next? This time he sat them down and told them ‘if anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all’. You can read that story starting from Mk9:33.

Now for the disciples, this didn’t make sense! How can we be superstars and sufferers at the same time? So it just flew over their heads! Which brings us to our reading. Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem, the capital city. The disciples were a little anxious that he had persisted in talking about suffering and difficulty. It’s not what they wanted to hear! At that point, Jesus decided to share a vulnerable moment with them, and bring up the subject of his up-coming death. But have you ever noticed how sometimes when your friends’ want something from you, they don’t listen? ‘How are you doing?’ ‘Not so good’. ‘That’s great! I wanted to ask if I can borrow your car!’ Well, same thing happens here… ‘Guys, I’m about to suffer, be tortured and die’. ‘Oh wow… that’s too bad… now we have a request, eh?’ This is clearly something they’d been planning and rehearsing for! So what’s the request? ‘When you get to the top and sit on the throne, in your glorious kingdom, let one of us sit at your right hand and the other at your left’!

The Disciples Fight for Power

Now in Mat.19:28, Jesus had already promised all his 12 disciples that when he sat on his throne, they would rule with him. So that was not the issue. In addition, Jesus had spent a little more time with Peter, James and John than with the other disciples, so already they were probably seen as being a little closer to power than their peers. But now it seems the two brothers had a plan to cut Peter out of the picture. Let’s cut a deal here – we’ll be your boys for life, just allow us to be number 2 and 3 when you become number 1! As for Peter, he can be #4 – we’re cool with that!

Don’t you just admire their guts? This is the substance of greatness! I mean these guys were ambitious, visionary, risk-takers and self-driven go-getters who were willing to do whatever it took to get to the top. In many of your companies, these qualities will get you to the top! And if you want to change the world, surely, aren’t these the type of leaders you would surround yourself with?

Now some of you are looking rather shocked at me! I know, you’re too saved for all that stuff! But even if we were to go all spiritual, didn’t Jesus say, “ask and you shall receive”? Doesn’t the bible say ‘you have not for you ask not?’ Aren’t we supposed to give God the deepest desires of our hearts rather than be anxious? I hope that one connects better with all ya’ll spiritual go-getters! Whether you call it raw ambition or a spiritual aggression, we can feel these guys.

I like that Jesus didn’t rebuke them for their ambition. Instead he asked a question, ‘can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I’m baptized with?’ Basically Jesus was saying, ‘to be next in line to me means being willing to suffer with me’.

The disciples’ very quick reply showed that they either didn’t hear or understand what Jesus had just said! ‘yeah, we gat this!’ ‘We are willing!’ So Jesus went on to reveal that indeed they would suffer. ‘You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with’. The bible tells us that James was the first of the twelve disciples to be killed for his faith. He was beheaded by King Herod in Acts 12:2, less than 10 years after this conversation took place.  John would be the last one to die, but he too would suffer greatly, including being imprisoned as an old man on a desert island. When you think island, don’t think Hawaii or Madagascar, think Robben Island. He spent years in this dry, rocky, barren prison. But at this point, none of them understood what Jesus was saying. So they decided, wrong timing – let’s try another time!

But somehow the story leaked! Have you ever wondered how? I’m sure these guys would never have revealed what they were doing to the rest? Now I see one of two options. Matt. Tells us that they actually got their mother to do the big ask from Jesus. Auntie Salome was one of Jesus’ supporters and they probably felt it would be hard for him to say no to her! CHAMA… The bible doesn’t tell us how it happened. Maybe one of the two couldn’t keep a secret! Or maybe one of the other disciples was monitoring what was being said and wiki-leaked it. The result was that the other disciples were angry. Lost their tempers…. Now why do you think they were annoyed; because James and John were such bad people? I suspect it’s because they hadn’t thought about it themselves! They saw themselves being edged out in the struggle for power and influence.

And so Jesus had to step in to stop things from escalating. And he taught them that true greatness is a paradox… the world teaches us that greatness comes as we step on others and grab positions for ourselves. But Jesus taught ‘Whoever wants to be first must be slave of all’.

Jesus wants to teach us an important truth about blueprint. It is this: In God’s kingdom, service is the route to greatness … 

You see Jesus taught one major topic and that was about – God’s kingdom. We said that the kingdom of God simply means God’s rule over everything. Jesus came to bring a revolution that would result in God’s rule and influence in this world.

When a kingdom invades a territory, it impacts that territory with its culture until its culture looks exactly like the kingdom. This new territory becomes a colony. Whatever happens in the kingdom manifests in the colony. Have you ever wondered why Kenyans drink tea 4 times a day, wear ironed suits with ties in this tropical heat, speak British English, and drive on the left side of the street? It’s because that is how things happened in the kingdom that colonized us!

When we say in Mavuno that you were created for greatness, we mean that God created you to be a representative of His kingdom to impact the earth with the culture of heaven. You and I are to colonize society and impact it with God’s culture, until they look alike. That’s why Jesus taught us to pray, ‘may your kingdom come and may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven’. Notice that the prayer is not for us to go to heaven. That means that we are to stay here on earth and occupy in every sector of society until he comes.

The Call to Fearlessness

This is why Mavuno is about Fearless Influence and not a Fearful Escape! Can I tell you a secret about Mavuno? We don’t just want to be a nice church where you and your family can come every Sunday! Our prayer is God will make you uncomfortable with mediocrity! That you won’t enjoy just living for yourself anymore and that you will be completely unsatisfied until you become a dangerous kingdom agent who is fearlessly changing your sector of society! That’s why we say that Mavuno exists to turn ordinary people into fearless influencers of society.

But even in all this, we realize there is a danger. As these ordinary people with ordinary dreams begin to impact the world, they will gain prominence and attention. Some will gain recognition and awards. It’s so easy as that begins to happen to  to gain prominence because of the fearless influence they were having, they would easily become like the disciples. It’s so easy for us when we begin to succeed for success to go to our heads, and for pride and competition to creep in! And so we realized that the third critical building block of Jesus’ blueprint was to give them opportunities to serve their brothers and sisters. Because in God’s kingdom, service is the route to greatness 

In God’s kingdom, service is the route to greatness but greatness is the route to further service. It’s a virtuous cycle! Too many people jump straight into impacting society without learning the lessons of servant leadership. You see, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely! As a result, when power comes, they become corrupted. I don’t believe that politics is too dirty to be redeemed. I just think we don’t prepare our people well. The job of the church is to prepare you for your kingdom impact. These are things that the corporate world will never teach you! In your workplace you learn ‘The 48 Laws Of Power’. I recently came across a popular book called, ‘How to Lie, Cheat and Steal your Way to the Top’. The blurb said, “This is a take-no-prisoners guide to winning the daily corporate warfare that is office politics. This survival manual will help you outsmart your boss, outwit your competitors, keep your job, and get ahead.” Wow… nothing new! James & John had it figured out! But Jesus tells us not so… In God’s kingdom, service is the route to greatness.

I thank God for the many hundreds of people serving their church family right here at Mavuno. We have a term for them; we call them the associates. This month we’ve been celebrating our associates for their selfless service.

You see, a major reason many Christians stop growing is that they are not serving. Reading the bible and listening to sermons is good but not enough. Serving God’s people through your spiritual gifts and abilities is essential to Christian maturity. When you serve, you move from consumer to contributor, from spectator to servant, from tourist to team member. You don’t just serve at church because the church needs you to serve, you serve at church because that’s where you train to be the servant leader God is calling you to be. In God’s kingdom, service is the route to greatness. 

Where are you serving at Mavuno? What are your spiritual gifts and passions? Where is the place you can use the experience God has given you? Some of us can serve more than others but none of us cannot not serve. As the Lord blesses us with promotions at work and families, let us be careful not to retire from serving. In the Kingdom there is no senate or the upper house where retirees sit and watch as young people serve. I am always challenged by Pastor Kyama’s mum who is over 60 years yet she arrives in Mavuno by 7:30am on Sunday to serve in the prayer team…

What I’m saying is that serving your church prepares you for your destiny. Serving as an usher is not your final purpose, but you are laying the groundwork for its eventual fulfillment. You are learning how to submit to spiritual leadership, you are learning how to give without getting back, you are learning how to serve the kingdom faithfully. The lessons you learn through service will teach you the vital spiritual lessons that you will need to impact society. In God’s kingdom, service is the route to greatness.

Illustration: Let me conclude with a fable about an office cleaner named John. John had a very humble job in the offices of the largest corporation in the world. He worked as a cleaner and his job was to mop and clean the basement of the corporate headquarters. He often fantasized about how it must feel to be one of the executives in the organization.

Then came a day when John found a cockroach scurrying across the floor. He raised his foot to flatten it when it spoke: “Please don’t kill me,” it said. “If you let me live, I’ll give you three wishes.”

John figured that even if he didn’t get the wishes, a talking cockroach could make him a lot of money. So he let the cockroach live, and the cockroach asked him what he wanted for his first wish. “To be promoted to the second floor,” said John. The next day John’s boss came in and told him he would move up to the second floor that very day.

John walked into the second floor like a conquering general, but soon he heard footsteps on the floor above him. He said to the cockroach, my second wish is to be promoted floor by floor until I reach the very top; until I am in charge of the company.

“Done,” said the cockroach, and floor by floor he moved his way through the ranks: 10th floor, 20th floor, 50th floor, 90th floor, and finally to the very top floor. He was as high as he could go: Chairman of the Board; CEO; corner office on the top floor of the building.

Then one day he heard footsteps above him. He saw a sign that said: STAIRS. He went up and found a rooftop and there he found one of his clerks near the edge of the building with his eyes closed. “What are you doing?” John asked. “Praying,” came the answer. “To whom?” Pointing a finger toward the sky the young man answered, “God.”

Panic gripped John. There was a floor above him? He couldn’t see it. All he saw was clouds. He couldn’t hear the shuffling of feet. “Do you mean there is an authority over me?”

John summoned the cockroach. It was time for his third and final wish. “Make me God,” he said. “Make me the highest. Put me in the kind of position only God would hold if he were here on earth.”

The very next day John awakened to find himself in the basement, cleaning it out with his mop and bucket, and doing what he could to help others be the best that they could possibly be. That’s how John learned what Jesus taught, In God’s kingdom, service is the route to greatness. 

Jesus lived a life of impact that was attractive to everyone around him. He was a go-getter par excellence; he knew what he wanted and went for it. He used the route of humble service and went all the way to the top (Philippians 2:5-11). I know you too have dreams. I want you to know that God does not condemn your ambition. He only proposes another way of getting there. His way – the route of service – will get you to the top, keep you there, and make your life attractive.

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3 Responses to “#Blueprint – Service”

  1. To serve is to reign…very powerful message. Its all about Jesus nothing about me. He must increase and I must decrease ..challenge: .we are the only Jesus some will ever see , what encounter will they retell,of who Jesus is after they meet us?

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  2. I know from experience that I flank in life anytime I am not serving in church…all the way from primary sch, high sch, campus & even in my career!…so what to do? Serve until I die!….next project is Internship!…so God help me.

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  3. Johnkavoi2 Says:

    I want to say thanks first to God, Pst M , Leadership& to congregation of Mavuno Church youve helped me connect with God friends&connect to my purpose so Mizizi helped to transform My Life. Surely God is taking us to another level 2015

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