Headship: The Way of Ultimate Success
John 17:4—I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which you have given Me to do.
Every pastor I’ve known has at some level wanted to be successful. But success in ministry is often very hard to evaluate. We can look at the size of the crowd, or the amount of the offering, the professions of faith, or number of baptisms and yet never really know how our ministries are doing. An appearance can sometimes be deceiving. In fact, Jesus said to the church at Ephesus, who seemed to have it all together, “You have left your first love” (Rev. 2:4). To the church at Sardis He said, “You have a name that you are alive, but you are dead” (Rev. 3:1). Of course, the church at Laodicea made Jesus sick to His stomach because they thought they were rich and wealthy and had need of nothing. Jesus then said, “You are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. . .” (Rev. 3:17). Jesus knows how we are really.
Here again is where our Lead Pastor demonstrates the way of true success. He marched to the beat of one drummer—His Father.
There is nothing wrong in wanting to be successful as long as it’s done in the right way and for the right reasons. Most never think about Jesus and the idea of success going together, but they do. Jesus was perfect in all of His ways, obedient to every detail, and finished everything the Father planned for Him to do. He remains God’s immaculate example of success for all of us.
The key to Jesus’ leadership was the relationship he had with His Father. Salvation’s plan had always belonged to the Father. Jesus’ high priestly prayer is saturated with this idea of watching the Father then moving in obedience. Along with our introductory verse above, we also have these words.
“I have manifested your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. Now they have known that all things which you have given Me are from You. For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; . . . Those whom You gave Me I have kept . . . I have given them your word;” (John 17:6a,7-8a, 12b, 14a).
Do you see the pattern? Jesus first developed His relationship with the Father, received all from Him, and then ministered the Father’s word and will to the people. That was the key to His success and so it is for us if Jesus is to be our active head and lead pastor.
Brainstorming strategy meetings and goal setting in our enthusiasm can very subtly cloud the way to the Father. This is not necessarily wrong in itself as long as it doesn’t replace or interrupt intimacy with the Godhead on the personal and corporate level.
Cultivate the habit with our stewardship to stop and meet with the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit in order to get on their agenda.
So how do we know Jesus was a success? Peter’s fiery message on the day of Pentecost identifies six reasons why we know Jesus succeeded in His Father’s eyes (Acts 2:22-40).
God (Father) publicly endorsed Him (22).
God released Him from the horrors of death (24a).
God raised Him back to life (24b; 32).
God exalted Him to the place of highest honor (in heaven)—His right hand (33a; Heb. 8:1, 10:12).
God gave Him the Holy Spirit to administer (33b).
God made Him Lord and Christ (Messiah) (36).
Now Christ “who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him” (I Peter 3:22).
May our ministries also receive the endorsement of the Father and stand against all evil because we followed His lead at all cost.
From Belief to Behavior
Have regular stops for accountability in activity.
Pray Scripture over everything together.
Don’t move until you are told.