They love the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues and elaborate greetings in the marketplaces, and to have people call them ‘Rabbi.’ But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher and you are all brothers. And call no one your ‘father’ on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you will be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
I wonder when we’ll get these verses. I mean, really get them.
Whenever I see a speaker advertised as being “internationally renowned”, I think “if he actually were, you wouldnt need to tell me that; I’d know of him already.”
Whenever I see a speaker advertised as having an “international ministry”, I think “Yeah, me too, I’ve preached in England and Japan.”
And when I see a church claim that they’ve launched a “UK network” because their congregation in the south of the city has planted a daughter congregation in the west of the city, well, I just laugh.
Now to be fair, I’m sure that these speakers don’t write their own copy. (Well, most of them don’t, anyway.) But I’m sure they’re not ignorant of it either. We all still want our titles and our elaborate greetings. It’s another aspect of the will to power. You’ll see it particularly, and I know this is a generalisation, in the more charismatic and Pentecostal churches, and I think that’s because power is a bigger dynamic in their spiritual worldview.
I guess the reason that churches do this kind of advertising is that it works, or they think it works; they believe that the people in the pews are more likely to come along to events when speakers have impressive titles than if those speakers do not.
Which means, I guess, that we don’t value humble servant leadership, at all.