“…their nobles would not stoop to serve their Lord.” –Nehemiah 3:5
All of the returning exiles were rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. Everybody is wearing a tool belt and getting their hands dirty. Nobody is immune from serving…except for the nobles of the Tekoites. Not these guys. These guys are leaders. Leaders lead, they don’t stoop.
Nehemiah is already leading this gig, so the only position left along the wall is to strap on a tool belt and get to work. The nobles are obviously above doing such a menial job. They remind me of Michael Scott, from The Office.
In an early episode, a sensitivity trainer (Mr. Brown) has to come to the office because of an offensive Chris Rock joke that Michael retold. Mr. Brown very kindly puts the entire office through the training so as not to single out Michael. Towards the end of the episode we are informed that the only signature needed is that of Michael Scott, yet he refuses to sign. His reason?
“I can’t sign this because I didn’t learn anything. I could maybe sign something that says that I taught something”.
Michael Scott couldn’t stoop.
One of the most astonishing claims of the Bible is that God Himself took upon human flesh. He not only “made himself nothing” by taking on human flesh, but he also “humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death”. And this was no ordinary death, this was “even death on a cross”. Jesus, the King of all kings, the most noble of all nobles, would stoop to any depth to serve the Father.
There is a common theme that I observe on Twitter that bothers me. I fear that some pastors today are following the way of the Tekoite nobles instead of the way of Jesus. They appear to be more concerned with being epic than with stooping to serve.
Everyday Twitter dutifully informs me that I have new “followers”. Almost every day I am followed by a leader-man that is obviously destined to be epic. He’s got a rockin’ ministry name. His hair is amazing. His smile could win a beauty pageant. Everything about this guy screams out that he is put together. His bio reads something like this:
Pastor. Disciple of Jesus. A leader that leads other leaders to lead others into Awesomeness. I’m a leader. I encourage others. Check out my website: awesomeleadershelpingawesomeleaders.com
I’m expected to follow Captain Awesome. When I don’t (and I seldom do) then I am quickly unfollowed. I’m not cheesed by them dropping me; I’ve learned to grow content with whatever audience the Lord gives me. But this pattern bothers me still.
For one, it bothers me because I see my own heart in these descriptions. I write so much against “being epic” because deep within me is a drive to be a difference maker. This is an idol that the Lord is uprooting from my heart. So, I’m sensitive to this.
Secondly, it makes me throw up in my mouth a little because it is so opposite the way of Jesus. Doing things like following a ton of people so as to get re-followed might be winning the social media game, but I’m convinced that it’s a wrong-hearted focus that looks more like a Tekoite noble than our humble Messiah.
It is my prayer that we might use social media to help us become more like Christ and not less. I pray that pastors, ministers, and disciples of every ilk increasingly become more like Christ and less like nobles that refuse to stoop.