In 2 Samuel 12, Joab (the captain of David’s army) does something striking. He willingly gives up the glory, honor and credit for a battle to his king. In verses 27-28 he sends a messenger to David saying, “I have fought against Rabbah and captured its water supply. Now bring the rest of the army and capture the city. Otherwise, I will capture it and get credit for the victory.”
We like center stage. We like the limelight and the attention we get from a job well done. Especially when we’ve worked hard to earn it. But in this account, Joab simply hands it over.
Because Joab knew his role. He understood that his job wasn’t just to win battles. His job was to support the king.
This is the philosophy I take when it comes to my role as a staff pastor. My ministry position may have a title. I may have an age group or a specific segment of people in the congregation that I’m responsible for. Those responsibilities may define what I do, but they don’t define how I do it.
A good staff pastor does what he should do. A great staff pastor does the “what” and understands how to do it in a way that serves his/her Pastor and gives up center stage. This isn’t to say that a staff pastor should never be honored for his work, but it is to say that some credit isn’t meant for the staff pastor. Understanding these circumstances and properly reacting to them is what separates a good staff pastor from a great staff pastor.
And that’s not to suggest that I completely understand it or succeed at this. But I do strive to serve my Lead Pastor and honor his personality, dreams and vision for the church. Otherwise I risk injecting my own agenda and stealing center stage from him in the process.
So how do you respect and serve the authorities over your life? Have you found yourself in situations where you are tempted to steal center stage?