Thursday, April 25, 2013
The Sculpture On My Desk
I have a friend who years ago led a travelling singing group from a Christian college. One of their stops scheduled was a Sunday night service at a very large church that was pastored by a delightful gentleman who was a nationally known radio preacher. If I said his name many of you (perhaps most of you) would easily recognize it.
When the group arrived at the church about an hour prior to the service, my friend desired to meet with this pastor to go over the details of the service with him before the singing group did their final microphone checks. He asked a man in the foyer where he night find the pastor. The man pointed down a hallway and said, "Last time I saw him he was down that way."
As my friend walked down the hallway all he could see was the back of a man who was running the vacuum cleaner outside a side entrance to the auditorium in preparation for the upcoming service. He figured he would ask that man if he knew where the pastor might be. He approached the man with the vacuum from behind and lightly tapped him on the shoulder as not to startle him. To my friend's surprise, when the man who was running the vacuum turned around, lo and behold, it was that famous pastor.
My friend was amazed to see this nationally known Christian leader pushing a vacuum to prepare their church facility for the evening service. Wasn't that the janitor's job or at least a Trustee? From that moment on the preaching my friend heard from that man on the radio made a double impact because he knew it was coming out of the mouth of a servant-leader who understood the value of humility.
I have to be honest and say that I have not always modeled that same characteristic over my years of ministry (and for that I am truly sorry) but it is the desire of my heart, especially as I grow older, to be more and more like that pastor.
I told this story once to another friend who in turn had a sculpture made of a pastor vacuuming by his pulpit (that sculpture is pictured above). It sits on my desk as a daily reminder to me that if I want to be first in God's Kingdom I have to learn to be the servant of all.