Accountability Varies By Role
Many forget that increasing responsibility brings with it increasing accountability. The higher up the government, business, or leadership in ministry you go, the greater your responsibility. This is due, in part, to the realization that your higher position usually has a greater impact on the lives of more people. While it is wonderful to have greater control, one should be cautious about the reasons for that desire and then the use of that power.
Teachers Deacons Pastors Elders
In the church, teachers, deacons, and pastors (elders) have unique responsibilities. Some view these roles as places of power. That may be true to a certain extent, but one must be careful about the use of that power. Many years ago, I was on the “deacon nominating committee” at our church in the Milwaukee area. A man approached me who was new to the membership. He asked me a shocking question: “How can I get nominated as a deacon?” During the discussion, it became obvious he did not understand the deacon’s role. He thought it was a place of power when it is actually a servant role. Needless to say, I did not bring up his name when the committee met.
A Biblical Perspective
We would do well to take each of our responsibilities as a serious opportunity to be a servant. This includes the roles of father, mother, teacher, businessperson, deacon, snowplow driver, senator, financial adviser, and police officer. No one is exempt. But bear in mind, if you are a teacher, that God has a high standard for you. He expects you to teach truth in a way that is helpful. Consider the following passage from the Epistle of James:
You Will Be Held Accountable
“Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!” James 3:1-5
How to Identify a Follower of Jesus
If you read the above and think, “I am not a teacher so this doesn’t apply to me,” don’t become overly self-satisfied or secure in your position. While not everyone will have the formal role of “teacher”, each of us needs to mature in a way that we can and do teach, even informally. Don’t be dull of hearing or infantile. Consider with Hebrews says:
“About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child.” Hebrews 5:11-13
Five Minute Friday
This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up.
All scripture passages are from the English Standard Version except as otherwise noted.