In this message, we learn that serving positions your heart for promotion.
Alright. Hey everybody. Welcome to Valley Creek Church. I am so glad that you’re here with us. We want to give a big welcome to all our campuses, whether you’re in Denton, The Venue, Flower Mound, online, wherever you are in the world, we are so glad that you are here with us.
We are in a series called The Back Door and we’re talking about serving our way to greatness. And I told you last week as we kicked it off, I said this is going to be a series, it’s going to be really countercultural. You’re going to hear a lot of things that you don’t normally hear in the world around you. And the reason it’s countercultural is because Jesus’ ways are not the ways of the world. His ways are higher than the world’s ways which means his ways are superior to the world’s ways and even though they’re countercultural, they work both in heavenly systems and in worldly systems.
And so I want to just jump right in, in Mark 9 — don’t turn there, let me just read this to you. Jesus and the disciples are walking down the road and in verse 33, here’s what it says, it says, “They came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house, he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the road?’ But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.” Busted. “Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, ‘If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last and the servant of all.’”
So picture this. Jesus is walking down the road, he’s probably a little bit ahead of the disciples there and a little pack and they’re arguing of which one of them if the greatest disciple of all the disciples. And you can picture them saying, “I walked on water” and “I raised someone from the dead” and “I found a little boy with the five loaves and the two fish” and they’re arguing of which one of them is the greatest. And they get to the town and they sit down and Jesus calls them together and he kind of exposes their hearts. And what I want you to notice is that he doesn’t rebuke them for their desire to be great.
He says, “It’s okay to want to be great. Just make sure you understand where greatness comes from.” That greatness doesn’t come from your talent or your ability or your wealth or your looks or how many followers you have on social media. In fact, greatness doesn’t even come by declaring yourself to be great. If you’re declaring yourself great, in essence you are saying that someone else is being put down.
And so what Jesus says is that greatness comes through servanthood. The world will tell you that greatness comes through the front door of performance, Jesus says greatness comes through the backdoor of servanthood. He says, “Hey, if you want to get promoted to the front of the line, go serve at the back of the line.” And that’s how you get promoted. And so that’s kind of what I want to talk about today. And so if you got a bible, flip open with me to 1 Samuel 16. 1 Samuel 16, it’s in the first third of your bible, I want to talk about how to get promoted. Everyone wants to get promoted. We would like to move up in life but we’re not really sure how do we do that?
How do we become great? And in 1 Samuel 16, this is a story of one of the greatest men in all of the bible and really it’s the beginning of his greatness. And so let me set the stage for you. Saul, the first king of Israel has now been rejected by God. He was arrogant, he was disobedient, he was rebellious. So God has rejected him as king and he gets Samuel the Prophet and he says, “Samuel, I’m going to choose a new king and I’m going to send you to find him.”
And so 1 Samuel 16:1, “The Lord said to Samuel, ‘How long will you mourn for Saul since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.’” God says to Samuel, and he says, “Hey Samuel, I’m going to pick a new king and so I want you to go to this town and this place and find this family.” And so Samuel goes and they throw this huge party. This one was a massive party and you could imagine how excited Samuel is. This is going to be the day we’re going to pick a new king.
And if Samuel is anything like us, in Samuel’s mind, he’s thinking, ‘Man, I’m looking for the most handsome, tallest, strongest, bravest, the best leader of the bunch, that’s who’s going to be the king.” And so they had this big party and they start bringing these guys in front of them and it says in verse 6, “When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, ‘Surely, the Lord’s anointed stands here before me, because man, he must’ve looked good.’ But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height for I have rejected him.’ The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart.’
Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, ‘The Lord has not chosen this one either.’ Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, ‘Nor has the Lord chosen this one.’ Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel but Samuel said to him, ‘The Lord has not chosen these.’ So he asked Jesse, ‘Are these all the sons that you have?’
Well, there is still the youngest,’ Jesse answered, ‘But he’s out tending sheep.’ Samuel said, ‘Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.’ So he sent and had him brought in. He was ruddy with fine appearances and handsome features. He was the runt of the litter. Then the Lord said, ‘Rise and anoint him. He is the one.’ So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power.” That’s a great story And that shows us how the Kingdom of Heaven works. It shows us God’s ways and it teaches us how David, one of the greatest men in all the bible, became great and it teaches us how to get promoted.
So a couple of thoughts for you that I hope you can grasp the truth of this today. First thing is this, serving positions us for promotion. Serving positions us for promotion. Let me give you a little piece of advice. If you would like to be promoted in life, serve. Outserve everyone around you. Come in early, stay late and do all the things no one else wants to do with excellence. Now, can we all agree that’s countercultural? You will never hear that in the world. The world says use other people, point to your successes, take advantage of others, step on them, take all of the credit and give away all of the blame. Like, that’s what the world tells you to do but that’s the world’s ways.
And so when we read the story in 1 Samuel 16, we see that with the seven sons of Jesse. They’re like jockeying for positions. They’re stepping in front of each other, ‘I’m the greatest,’ ‘I’m the tallest,’ ‘I’m the strongest,’ ‘I’m the bravest,’ ‘I’ve did this,’ ‘I’ve been there.’ And yet I love what God says, he says, “I have not chosen them, I have rejected them.” That’s actually a strong word. And then God rebuked Samuel in verse 7 and says to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at to the things man looks at.
Man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart. And all the while the seven sons of Jesse are jockeying in for position, David is out serving as a shepherd. He’s serving. And when time comes to pick a new king, it’s David the Servant who is chosen. Why? Because God always picks the most unlikely people. The world picks the greatest talent, God picks the greatest servant. And you find it all over the bible. That’s why God picks Nehemiah, the cup bearer to go and rebuild Jerusalem. That’s why he picks Mary, the teenager to bring Jesus into this world. That’s why he picks Moses, the shepherd to bring the Israelites out of Egypt. God picks the most unlikely people and while they’re all jockeying for position, David, instead of promoting himself is out in the field serving and that’s what positioned him to get promoted, to become the next king of Israel. And I know some of you, you’re looking at me and you’re thinking, yeah, but if I don’t promote myself, no one’s going to know about me.
And that’s what we really think and so we spend our lives promoting ourselves. And let’s just be honest, we look really silly doing it. Like how many selfies you got to take of yourself? And then you’re looking, how many likes did I get? I didn’t get enough likes. I need better lighting next time. Let’s use the moon feature or whatever, I don’t know. You know? We got to say how awesome we are and we did this and we did that and this was my idea. In glory days, I used to do all of these things and then what happens? We become judgmental and bitter on why we didn’t get picked.
Okay. Can I just stop and ask you a question for a moment? Who is your promoter? Who really is your promoter? It’s God. Psalm 75:7, it says, “It’s God who judges; he puts one man down and exalts another man up.” He is your promoter. He’s bigger than your coach, your boss, your teacher, that person with influence, he’s bigger than the world’s system.
God is the promoter and you and I have to get to this place in life where we believe it. I mean, David wasn’t even invited to the party and yet he’s the one who gets picked. Why? Because 2 Chronicles 16:9 says, “The eyes of the Lord range throughout the world looking to strengthen or promote those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” God wants to promote servants is what that says.
Years ago before I transitioned into this role, I was on staff and I had a variety of different roles. I’ve been here about 10 years. And I’ll never forget one day, there was a guy in the hospital and me and another one of our leaders in this church and all their gentlemen, we jumped in the car and we went to go visit him. And as we were driving back, we were just talking about life and my future and he looked at me and he said, “Hey” he said, “What if God’s plan for your life is that for the rest of your life you will just stay here and serve in your current role?”
And it was like one of those slow motion, no kind of moment, okay? I mean, we had just moved here to Texas and to be honest with you, the adjustment to Texas in the early days for us was not all that easy. I didn’t want to stay here, I didn’t want to be here, I didn’t like my role. I wanted to go plant a church. I had a vision, I had a dream, I had my strategies all put together, I even had people who are willing to fund it.
And so I remembered just kind of lip service like laughing with the guy like, “Oh, yeah, yeah. Who knows, you know? Whatever God wants.” No. You know? And then over the next few weeks and just kind of praying and talking to God and I’ll never forget when God said to me as clear as day, he said, “Johnny, I can do more in two days than you can do in two years. Will you choose to serve me by serving Pastor Kevin?” Who was the lead pastor at that time. And it was a direct reference to me wanting to go plant a church.
He said, “You can go try and do it for two years on your own and promote yourself. I ain’t going to do nothing. But I can do more in two days than you can do in two years. Will you serve me by serving Pastor Kevin?” And I had to bring myself to a posture of humility enough to acknowledge that truth, to put myself into a posture of servanthood and say, “I will stay as long as it takes to do what God is asking me to do.” And I am convinced that it was the willingness to humble myself and serve that positioned me to even be a part of what God is doing in this place today.
What I am trying to tell you is this — you don’t have to clap for that. What I want you to get is this, the fastest way to get promoted is to just serve the authority in your life. Hebrews 13:07, you’re not going to like this verse, “Obey your leaders and submit to their authority.” Let’s read that again, “Obey your leaders and submit to their authority.” Notice there’s no asterisk right there that says, “Only the leaders you like, or the ones you respect, or the ones you choose, or the ones you feel like.”
“Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They kept watching over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so their work will be a joy, not a burden for that would be of no advantage to you.” It says, obey your leaders and make their life a joy. All leaders, government, civil, marketplace, your teacher, your boss, your coach, your family leaders, your spiritual leaders. Obey your leaders, submit to their authority and make their life a joy, it says. I mean, do you realize that David was a joy to lead? He was a joy to lead by his father, by Saul, by Samuel — whoever the leader was and David was like, he was a joy to lead, are you? This is a legit question, are you? Are you a joy to lead?
Do you go above and beyond? Do you do what you say? Do you contribute instead of complain? Do you make others better around you? Do you build other people up? Do you embody the vision? Like if we went to the leaders in your life and ask them, “Is this person a joy to lead?” What would they say?” You say, “Bro, that’s not a fair question to ask.” Yes, it is. If you want to be promoted. You can be miserable to lead for the rest of your life, but you probably ain’t going to get promoted. Why? Because servants capture the attention of the king. This whole thing, the backdoor, you say, “What does that even mean? Where does it come from?” It came from this picture I have from the Lord. I want you to think of an old time throne room. And think of this big throne room and here’s the thrown and the king sitting on his throne and there’s a giant gate in the front of the throne. There’s this big door and all these people line up. The people from the city and the world and they just want to get a few moments with the king and they have to wait for their appointment and it has to be just right. And they have to come in and they got to perform and impress the king.
But all the while, behind the throne, there’s the back door that the servants come in and out of all day long. And the servants don’t have to wait for an appointment and they don’t have to impress the king. They have constant and continual access to the king on his throne as they come in and out of his presence to serve him. It’s serving him that gives them unique access to his life. And they don’t have to perform anything. And when the king has a mission that he’s really inspired by, or that’s really important to him, he’s not going to give it to one of those people that show up once a year to perform. He’s going to give it to one of the servants that he knows and he trusts. That’s who he is going to promote. That’s why Isaiah in Isaiah chapter 6, is a servant before the Lord and it says, he’s caught up to the throne room of heaven and God sitting on his throne has this mission and he says, “Who will go for us?” And Isaiah steps forward, as a servant who’s coming through the back door and says, “Here I am, send me.”
And God says, “You got it Isaiah. Here’s your promotion. Let’s go.” Does that makes sense to you? Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, whatever you do, whatever you do — would that include what you do? Work at it with all your heart as if serving or working for the Lord, not for man.” So here’s the question, if serving was the only determining factor, would you promote you? If servanthood was the only factor to determine the promotion, would you promote you? Are you doing things with the fullness of your heart? Because maybe we need to stop seeking the promotion and start just serving the promoter. Okay? So serving positions you for promotions.
The second thing, are you with me so far? Okay, I know this is counter cultural but, man, this is good for you. It’s good for me. Serving purifies our hearts. Serving purifies our hearts. While David’s brothers were becoming more arrogant, the seven sons of Jesse, David was becoming more humble. While they were all at the party having a good time jockeying for position, David was out in the pasture, he was serving. That’s what he was. He wasn’t even invited to the party and then that too been hard on David. I’m sure he’s sitting out there with those sheep and he’s thinking to himself, why wasn’t I invited? But why didn’t they want me around? Why didn’t anybody asked me to come? Why I’m always left out? Why couldn’t someone else come and watch these sheep, so I could be there? Do you ever feel like that? And David had a choice. He could have become resentful or he could become refined. You see, every time you serve, you have a choice to become resentful or to become refined. And the choice is yours. Why? Because when you start serving, it starts exposing all the things in your life.
It exposes your pride, it exposes your insecurities, it reveals all the hidden issues in your life and you’re confronted with them and you have to make a decision about what are you going to do with them. Seasons of serving will do more in your heart than seasons of being served ever will. I mean, just compare for a moment, Saul and David. First king of Israel, second king of Israel, okay? Saul’s the first king of Israel. Saul was the man. If you read about Saul before he speaks, he’s the man. He is the dude. We would all pick this guy. 1 Samuel 9 says this, “Saul, an impressive young man without equal among the Israelites, a head taller than any of the others.” I mean, he is the man and when you first read about Saul, Saul has servants. First time you read about Saul, he’s traveling around with servants. He didn’t serve anybody because he had servants. Now compare that with David. The guy who’s not even invited to the party, who’s left out in the shepherd — field, pasturing sheep, serving his family.
And you look at those two guys and one guy’s kingdom quickly crumbles and the other guy’s lasts forever. What’s the difference? Servanthood. Listen to me, servants always outlast superstars. Always. In every area of life, servants outlast superstars. You may get the promotion by the talent of your hands, you will only keep it by the health of your heart. So don’t despise seasons of faithfulness. Don’t despise seasons where God puts you in the pasture and says, “I just want you to serve. Just be faithful, just serve and watch what I’m going to do.” I mean, Proverbs 20:21 says, “An inheritance quickly gained at the beginning will not be blessed in the end.” You know what that means? That means when we’re all 19, we all want to be the CEO. And we think we’re fully equipped and able to take the fullness of the inheritance today and right now.
I’m just telling you, promotion without preparation is dangerous. The weight of influence will crush the heart that has not been strengthened by serving. The weight of influence will literally crush the heart that has not been strengthened by serving. I mean, again, when I first got hired here, I was 24, 25 years old. Man, I was so prideful and arrogant. I thought I had it all figured out. Most of you weren’t even here, but I thought you all hired me to come in here and lead and bring change and change the world. We’re going to do it. And I’m here like six months and we had a pigeon problem on the roof. And what happened was all these pigeons were roosting up there and there was like years of pigeon poop piled all over the roof. And when it would rain, all the pigeon poop would clog up the gutters and would all rush into the building.
And so, I was here like six months and I’ll never forget being in a meeting. They said, “Hey, what we need you to work on until it’s completed is cleaning up the pigeon poop and get rid of the pigeons.” And I looked at him and I said, “Well, no, I came here to lead change and cast vision and change the world.” They say, “Well, start changing the world by cleaning up the pigeon poop.” And so, I spent about six months trying to get rid of pigeons. Electric fences, BB guns, nets, we tried it all. I can’t — I kid you not. I can remember so many Sunday mornings when it would pour rain and because we couldn’t get all pigeon poop out of it, it would back up, all the water would flood in and I’d be there with garbage cans and my clothes on. And people will be walking by with their coffee like, “Bummer, bro.” You know, like, “The bottles are served, get over here, man. Help me.” And no one helped me.
And I kid you not, I will never forget being on the roof in hazmat suits. 100 degrees, scooping pigeon poop and saying to the Lord, this is crazy. And I’ll never forget when the Lord said back to me, “Yeah, but this is ministry.” And he said, “You will never know how to lead anyone until you learn how to first serve everyone.” Everyone that leads around here has a pigeon poop story. And you need one too. The place that God is inviting you to serve right now is designed to purify your heart. And the reason that season takes so long is, because let’s be honest, there’s a lot to purify. Joseph had to serve for years in prison. Moses had to serve 40 years in the wilderness. David had to serve a long time in the pasture.
And you know what? You’re going to have to serve a long time where you are. But where you are is good. You’re a stay at home parent, you are in a job you hate, you’re doing something that you think is so far beneath you, that’s purifying you. And serving others is never wasted time in the Kingdom of God. Psalm 16, written by David, the guy who was not invited to the party says, “Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup. You handed me the pooper scooper. You’ve made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.” That’s David, the guy who’s not even invited to the party, who’s forgotten by his dad and all of his brothers, out serving sheep while everyone’s celebrating. And he says, “Oh, you know what? The boundary lines are in pleasant places for me.” So maybe we need to stop being so concerned about expanding our boundary lines and start just fully serving within the ones we already have.
Because God’s not going to promote your hands beyond the purity of your heart. Okay? So, serving purifies our heart.
And the last thing is this, serving prepares us to lead. Listen, serving in the pasture is what prepared David to lead in the palace. The pasture always prepares you for the palace. Psalm 78, “God chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance, to the palace as the king and David shepherded them with integrity of heart and with skillful hands he led them.
In other words, it flat out says God promoted David because he was a servant and oh, by the way, it was serving in the pasture that prepared him to be an amazing leader in the palace. That’s why when we read about David and we think he’s — I mean, you read David, the dude was free. He led with a level of freedom that very few leaders ever get to, just read this. He didn’t care what anybody else thought.
He danced before the Lord when everyone else told him he was crazy, he went to fight giants when everyone else told him it was impossible, he chose to bless and love the people that he ruled over by lifting them up, serving them and giving them things when everyone else told him he didn’t have to. Good leaders are great servants. And the truth is an unwillingness to serve disqualifies you to lead. If you won’t do it for the one in private, you cannot do it for the many in public. Catch that. If you won’t do it for the one in private, to just serve for serving’s sake, you cannot do it for the many in public, and that’s what most of us are waiting for. But what you forget is that promotion in the Kingdom of God is being promoted to greater levels of servanthood. You never get to a place where you get to sit there and people just fan you with palm branches. In the Kingdom of God, promotion means you become a greater servant. And you learn to lead by serving.
And you say, “Well, I don’t want to lead.” Well, the truth is that you’re called to be a servant leader. Just think about it, you were made in the image and likeness of God. The greatest servant and the greatest leader in all of all of, was going to say creation but He made creation and He is a servant leader and He made you in that image and likeness, so that’s what you’re created to do. Genesis 1:28, fist word God says to man, to you, “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth, rule over it and subdue it using its resources in the service of God and man.” He says, “Hey, rule and reign on my behalf, you’re a leader but oh, by the way, use everything you have to bring forth my purposes in the lives of man, not to rule over but to lift them up.” Or how about John 20:21, Jesus says, “As the Father has sent me, so I now send you.” Not the person next to you, you. And what was Jesus? The greatest servant leader of all time.
And oh, by the way, we’re citizens of the kingdom of heaven and if heaven influences earth and earth never influences heaven, then oh, by the way, you’re a servant leader, you are an influencer in this world but you’re meant to use that influence to serve others. So you learn how to lead by serving. I mean, catch this. You don’t have to turn now, let me just read it to you. Luke 19:13, Jesus says, “This is what the kingdom of heaven is like.” He says, “A king, called ten of his–” verse 13, “called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas,” sum of money. “‘Put this money to work, he said, ‘until I come back.’ Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money in order to find out what they had gained with it. The first one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned ten more.’ ‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy with a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’ The second came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned five more.’ His master said, ‘You take charge of five cities.’ Then another servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth because I was afraid.’
Catch this. The king gives each of his servants a small sum of money and he says, “Go use this as a servant,” and those that choose to use and multiply it and they bring it back, they serve with their whole heart, they come back, they give it to the master and he says, “Well done.” And he says, “Now, because you are faithful to serve in this little area, I’m going to give you influence over this huge thing.” Would we not agree that it’s disproportionate that they were faithful with a little bit of money and they get cities to rule? But that’s what God does. He takes a little bit of faithfulness and He promotes it into great influence. That’s how God works. And oh, the guy that was afraid and buried it in the ground? It’s actually taken away from him and given to one of the other guys. Why?
Because God will test your heart by asking you to serve. And if you don’t pass the test, He can’t promote you to levels of great influence, to shape and change a broke and dying and hurting world. Your willingness to serve determines the influence you carry in the kingdom and in the world around you. In other words, your willingness to serve determines what you get to lead and you say, “Well, I don’t want to lead,” but you want to be promoted, which means you want to be over something, which means you have influence and God wants to promote people who understand His agenda and His perspectives and his approach in this world and what He is doing, so He tests you by saying, “Will you serve that person? Will you just serve in this season for a little longer? Will you be faithful and just submit to your boss and be a joy to be around?”
“Oh, by the way, will you join this team and be a part of what I’m doing?” And He’s waiting to see what we do and are we going to come back and say, “Master, I’m presenting back to you what I have done with what you have asked me to do.” Then He says, “Well done. Now take some real influence and let’s go change this world.” Listen, everyone wants to be promoted but few of us want to serve. I wonder how much of our lives do we spend promoting ourselves and just look silly doing it. Because you know the people you work with and you’re around, they promote and you just roll your – and like, “Here they go again.”
No one looks good declaring themselves the greatest. So if we go all the way back to Mark 9 where we started, Jesus probably wants to say to us today like, “Hey, what are you arguing about? Why are you trying to declare yourself the greatest? Hey, it’s okay to want to be great, but let me remind you that if you want to be promoted to the front of the line, go serve at the back of the line.”
If God could take David, a shepherd serving in the pasture who wasn’t even invited to the party, to the coronation of the new king, and yet God still found a way to promote him, I think He can find a way to promote you, you just got to choose to start serving. Just try it. Serving will position you for promotion, it will purify stuff inside you, you can’t get out on your own and it will prepare you to be a leader, an influencer in this world. The world does not have the authority to keep a good servant down. Just try it, okay? Say, close your eyes with me.
What do you think God wants to whisper in your heart today? What is He inviting you to? Or challenging you about? What is He inspiring you to become? See, I would guess that a lot of us, if you’re anything like me, you struggle with that concept of humbling yourself to go to the back of the line and serve when you’ve worked so hard to get close to the front of the line. But what we forget is that we’ll never be able to leapfrog all the way to the front until we just choose to go serve at the back.
God wants you to be promoted. He wants to position you in such a way that you carry great influence in this world for His glory. And so He gives you something small and asks, “Will you be faithful to serve here?” And only you get to answer that question. Today, I want to declare that God has great things for you and your life. I want to declare that you are living way below the level of influence that God has predestined for you to have. I want to declare that greater things are to come, that you are going to have revelation and understanding of who He is, you’re going to catch a glimpse of your purpose, you’re going to understand that you’re a part of something bigger than yourself and today is a marker stone in life, an invitation to say, “It’s time for some promotion.”
And that promotion is going to come by going out into the field and shepherding sheep when everyone else wants to go to the party, because the king doesn’t get picked at the party, the king gets picked in the pasture. And so may today be a day where you choose to bend and soften and humble your heart in such a way that you say, “Jesus, I will serve right where I am for as long as you ask me because you are my promoter. I do not need to declare my own greatness because as I serve, you will declare my greatness. I do not need to vie for a position, because when the time is right, you will give me a better position.
And I will not be afraid of influence because I know that I walk with you and you will lead me and guide me to use the resources around me to accomplish your purposes in the lives of this hurting and broken world. So Lord Jesus, I pray for the people in this church today, that we would be promoted to great places of influence through our willingness to serve. May we be the greatest servants of all. In your name we pray, amen.