Ministry Resources

Who do you Follow?

Author: Dave Beroth

Read: I Corinthians 3 & 4

1 Corinthians 3:21-23 (NLT) 21 So don’t boast about following a particular human leader. For everything belongs to you— 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Peter, or the world, or life and death, or the present and the future. Everything belongs to you, 23 and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God. 1 Corinthians 4:1 (NLT) 1 So look at Apollos and me as mere servants of Christ who have been put in charge of explaining God’s mysteries.

Reflect: Paul words may hit many of us at the point of vulnerability. I’ve been blessed by God with some wonderful opportunities to connect with well-known leaders. All of that is good. What is not healthy is giving in to the temptation to find my own identity vicariously in them and their prominence. If I build up my own ego by parading whatever connections I’ve had with such persons, I pervert the privilege. There is a natural human tendency to attach ourselves to a hero. Paul is noting the immaturity of those at Corinth who found their identity wrapped up in their leaders. We increasingly make celebrities out of mega church leaders. There are even Christian talk shows that mimic the main stream talk shows.

Respond: It can be healthy to admire and respect leaders. We have to be careful of becoming too enmeshed, no longer recognizing the distinction between who we are and who they are. Paul uses two words to describe a Christian leader – servant and steward.

  • Servant- The original word meant a rower on the lower deck of a ship. Paul refers to himself and the other leaders in the church as rowers (servants), who accept the orders of the captain (God) and row only as He directs.
  • Steward- This person manages the whole administration of a house or an estate. No matter the number of household staff he manages, he is still a steward to the master.
    What is the primary point? In God’s eyes, all of us are equals together in ministry – servants and stewards. Name your favorite preacher, teacher, spiritual leader for whom you have the greatest admiration; then remember all are equals. We all are rowers alongside each other. We all are managers of that which is not ours. Yes it is healthy to have leaders we admire and respect but do not boast in them, putting them up as paragons of virtue. That’s idolatry. Christ is the model of the perfect servant leader, and, despite our fallen nature, we are called to emulate Him. Servant leadership is about using God-given gifts unselfishly to influence others toward building up the church and lovingly lead others to Christ.

Prayer: Father God, everything I have is only because you have entrusted it to me. I only have temporary custody. Help me be faithful and fruitful and keep me from boasting about who I know. Amen

What's Next

We would love to answer any question you have or help suggest next steps on your journey.