8/7 2 Corinthians 4:5

5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake.

The great hope of the minister of God is that he will disappear as he paints a portrait of Christ before the eyes of his listeners. The last thing a godly messenger wants to hear is that he was outstanding. If people see the speaker instead of Jesus and go away thinking how excellent he was, they have utterly failed. The church in Corinth was divided because they were enamored with the messenger and were missing the message.

Presenting Jesus more clearly and seeing the listener have a greater desire to walk with the Lord is the goal. Anything that distracts from that must go. While ministers should be respected and their gifts appreciated, their ministry is to point to Jesus and cause the congregation to long to know Him more intimately. That is why they serve.

Their service is for Jesus' sake, not their own. The godly minister is not trying to build a bigger congregation, or make his name famous, but to exalt Jesus. Ministers are slaves of Christ. A slave is focused on his or her master's honor. If they have any honor, it comes from the honor of the one they serve. The church today is falling into the Corinthian pattern of praising the man and focusing on him rather than Jesus. "I follow Joel Osteen." "I follow MacArthur." "I follow Benny Hinn." Let us follow Jesus and pray for those who minister!

Consider: How many nameless shepherds have lived their life as servants of congregations so that others might know Jesus? We will surely be surprised in heaven by the glory of those whose names we never heard.