Humble Servants Glorify God

Humble Servants Glorify God

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you at the proper time.” 1 Peter 5:6

In the middle of September, Kirby (a retired pastor who I count as a good friend) and I loaded up the truck and headed west to the community of May. We were hoping to knock down a few dove, but mainly just get out of the city and enjoy the countryside for a couple days. I had contacted an old friend who would graciously let us hunt and sleep on his farm.

Good Memories

It had been more than a dozen years since I pastored the wonderful congregation at FBC of May. It’s a community that holds a very special place in my heart for many reasons. The entire drive I shared memories of several of the men and women who I still consider close friends, though we are now separated by over a hundred miles and many busy schedules.

As we turned by the school, I pointed out the many upgrades that had taken place over the years. The most recent building was the much-needed new gymnasium that had been long overdue. I described how the community had been blessed by the great leadership of a long-time Superintendent who had recently retired. He had led the school and community to continue to move forward with their facilities for the kids of May.

Respected Leadership

Don Rhodes was a man who provided steady, faithful leadership for the school, which serves as the hub of this small community, for four decades. As a leader in the church, he served as the chairman of the pastor search committee who had called me in the Fall of 1991. The next August as a young 25-year-old pastor, I had the privilege of leading the church to ordain Don as a deacon along with two other men. He quickly became a friend, confidant, and even a mentor in many ways.

Don not only provided leadership for the community, he helped me grow as a pastor. He knew how to lead people and more than once he sat me down to give this young pastor solid advice. Certainly, we shared in many ups and downs. The Lord allowed me to minister to Don and Sue through the difficult loss of their son, Ethan. Years later, Don was a strong shoulder for me as I faced the death of my daughter Katie.

Cricket Cleanup

As we passed by the gym, I was anxious to point out the beautiful brick sanctuary that we had built for the church. Next to the church was a man sweeping up piles of crickets and shoveling them in a trashcan. Anyone who has lived in the country has likely experienced the cricket infestations that can often follow the first cool front in early Fall. The church had been overwhelmed with them. Additionally, someone had come along and sprayed for them. Now there were thousands of crickets dead on the sidewalk needing to be removed from around the church.

A True Servant

It was at that point that I saw the image of a true servant of God. There was Don, in all his retirement glory, probably the most respected man in the community, sweeping up crickets. He was serving his church, serving his community, and most importantly, serving his Lord.

In Matthew 20:28, Jesus told his followers that he came to serve not to be served. He expected his disciples to follow that example. Though Peter struggled with the idea, he eventually understood it and wrote to the church in 1 Peter 5:6, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you at the proper time.”

Men who Glorify God

In more than a quarter century of pastoral leadership, I’ve been a part of ordaining and serving with many godly deacons. Like most of them, Don did not feel worthy to serve when he was first approached. I’ve learned that those are the deacons I want. These humble men who faithfully serve the Lord bring glory to him and not to themselves.

3 Replies to “Humble Servants Glorify God”

    1. He and Sue are a wonderful couple. I learned a lot from about dealing with people. He continues to faithfully serve the May church and community.

  1. I just saw Mr. Rhodes at the youth softball game. I am always inspired just by seeing him. He has been a rock for myself and my children, along with his family. There are some people that are a powerful influence for Christ just by being there.

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