There are days and seasons when it is a leader’s time and prerogative to get dirty in their service. The Israelites who were returning from captivity had their ancient city of Jerusalem sitting in shambles, and every able-bodied person (including leaders) was needed to rebuild the city for purposes of religious worship, security, and for functioning once again as a community.
“The Fountain Gate was repaired by Shallun… ruler of the district of Mizpah. He rebuilt it, roofing it over and putting its doors and bolts and bars in place.
He also repaired the wall of the Pool of Siloam, by the King’s Garden, as far as the steps going down from the City of David.
Beyond him, Nehemiah… ruler of a half-district… made repairs up to a point opposite the tombs of David, as far as the artificial pool and the House of the Heroes.”
~ Nehemiah 3:15-16
While we [as Pastors] should not be busy doing things on a day-to-day basis that are at the expense of prayer and preaching (see Acts 6:1-7), there are times that the most needful of things is to get down and dirty! Our service should be based upon what the Kingdom of God (the Church) needs the most, and not based upon our pride of position. Jesus Himself set the tone and example for leaders getting dirty in service:
“When He had finished washing their feet, He put on His clothes and returned to His place. ‘Do you understand what I have done for you?’ He asked them. ‘… Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you… ‘”
~ John 13:12-17
Different personality types with different giftings will gravitate to certain kinds of service, whether it is a physical, cerebral, empathetic, administrative, or other form of service. Let’s be sure we are serving in ways that are most needful that day, and not just in forms of service that are always personally satisfying.
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