Matthew 20:28 – The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. (NIV)
I have been an elder in my church for twenty years, but recently, becoming a Jazzercise fitness instructor has given me new insights into my role.
Much advance preparation went into the learning of routines for the audition/examination. There were so many things to remember to relate to the students, as the leader: the moves themselves, the cueing that assists the students in being able to follow the transitions between movements for effectiveness and safety, monitoring the level of intensity, noting which muscle groups were being engaged.
As a student, I took a lot of this for granted. I looked up to the instructor on stage as a role model, for guidance, for encouragement, for enthusiasm, and for direction. I imitated what the instructor did.
When I made the transition from student to instructor, I realized what an important role the instructor has and what a critical function that person serves.
In the church, there are people we look up to as role models of exemplary Christians — ministers, missionaries, long-standing and long-serving people in the congregation — those "pillars" of the church. We want to imitate the behaviour, the lifestyle, and the Christian love of those leaders, our "instructors", through whom we see the light of Christ shining.
Leaders in the church, both ruling elders and teaching elders, need to be reminded that people are looking to us — for guidance and direction. They look for us to show them the combination of "steps" to take in the dance of life that leads us and draws us closer to the triune God, in our daily walk on the Christian path.
Dance the dance of life! As leaders, know that others are following our lead!
Prayer: "'Follow me,' the Master said." May we be His followers, and His leaders, as we have been called by God to be. Help us, Lord, to serve You in faith, truth, and love. Amen.