The Standard of Serving
“He shall consecrate to the LORD the days of his separation, and bring a male lamb in its first year as a trespass offering; but the former days shall be lost, because his separation was defiled” (Numbers 6.12 NKJV).
When God sets up a leader to teach, feed, serve and care for His children, that leader is now accountable to God for the welfare of others. God has trusted that leader with the responsibility of influencing people with His heart, movement and will. Much like the Old Testament Nazarite, this leader is called to be separated from the crowd, so he/she can receive, consume and share fresh insights from God. As a symbol of a Nazarite’s ministry, he was to never cut his hair. The longer his hair, the longer he has served God in ministry. However, when the Nazarite’s separation was “defiled,” he had to shave his head. All of his former days of ministry were lost, and he had to begin again on a clean slate. Today when Christian leaders defile their ministry by committing a string of ungodly choices that lead to a devastating fall, God is completely able to give them a fresh start. However, much of their credibility is lost since trust was broken with the people they served. God can restore a fallen leader’s ministry and influence, but it will take time for healing and restoration to take place. The weight of influence is extremely heavy, and it comes with both blessings and burdens. It is important that we allow God to establish our ministries, instead of trying to establish our own authority. We may never be perfect, but we can remain faithful to God, serving others with love and humility.
“Don’t be in any rush to become a teacher, my friends. Teaching is highly responsible work. Teachers are held to the strictest standards. And none of us is perfectly qualified. We get it wrong nearly every time we open our mouths. If you could find someone whose speech was perfectly true, you’d have a perfect person, in perfect control of life” (James 3.1-2 MSG).