Many pastors and other ministers in churches today are noted for their “creativity”, or for their authoritarian nature. But how does this line up with scripture? In I Corinthians 4:1, the Apostle Paul wrote: “Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.” Paul highlighted two essential qualities of authentic Christian ministers in this verse:
— First, he said they are “servants” — not lords. Peter elaborated on this theme in his first epistle, when he wrote to pastors that they were to be “not lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.” (I Peter 5:3) Ministers are to be servants and examples, not CEO’s, or authoritarian “lords.”
— Second, he wrote that they are “stewards of the mysteries of God.” The job of the steward is to pass along to others what has been entrusted to him. The Christian minister is not responsible to create truth, but to deliver faithfully what has been given to him in the word of God, the Bible, without altering or amending it. They do not have to be “creative”; in fact there is a real sense in which being “creative” with God’s truth will prove contrary to the minister’s purpose. He is not a “creator” of truth, but a “steward” who faithfully passes along what God has given in His word.
Authoritarian? Creative? Good traits perhaps in secular business or media. But not in Christian ministry. Paul made it clear: Christian ministers are to be neither of these, but “servants” and “stewards.”