Servant or Critic

I am in Seattle right now with my Week of Ministry team. Yesterday we help our ministry partners, Praisealujah Ministries, by handing out food and toiletries for homeless folks at a park at 3rd and Yesler. It was eye-opening for these folks from Nebraska.

After that we attended the evening worship service of Mars Hill Church in the Ballard area. Pastor Mark Driscoll’s sermon was done via a pre-recorded video, but was very good. I have heard Driscoll before. He is a marvelous communicator. He has a style all his own, which is to preach what many would consider several full-blown sermons in one message. Last night he had four. The content is rich, but a little like drinking from a waterfall at some point.

One thing he said that really stuck with me from the sermon(s) was his point at the difference between a “critic” and a “servant.” These two will look at the same dysfunctional situation in need of repair. The critic will look from a distance, allowing himself the ability to criticize and belittle. The servant will say, “Let’s fix this,” and will jump in to help. I have been on both sides of this, critic and servant. I pray that as I continue to mature in the Lord, I will lose more of my critic side and enjoy the life of the servant to the fullest.

In the Gospel of Mark, I am reminded of the great “ransom” verse, which has been a theological crossroads for centuries. In debating the nature of the ransom act, we probably have missed the impact of the rest of the verse:

Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

May we all be more like Jesus this week and find ways to serve instead of criticize.

Mark Krause
Nebraska Christian College

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5 thoughts on “Servant or Critic

  1. “But let’s fix this” flows from an awareness of something that needs to be fixed. The watchman with the perspeceive of distance, sounds a warning when he sees a situation that could damage faith and/or cause destruction. The critic serves a much needed service to believers basking in stained glass sunshine where bad news is frowned upon beause it is said to ultimately come from Satan. The watchman does not necessarily “belittle” anyone by calling attention to a problem, and the use of that word in this discussion is prejudicial. If the critic’s motive is to awaken someone “on the scene” to do something about the situation, then his existence has value. If those who are “on the scene” are being effective, the critic has nothing to report. … Kyle R. Simplot, 05/25/2012

    • Your comments are noted and appreciated. We need to have “watchers” to keep us on track, but they will always have more credibility if they are on the playing field rather than in the grandstand.

      MK

      • And the “watchers” have a distinct advantage over the “on scene” fixers who tend to be more subjectively myopic to the situation. To be sure, some “critics” have an ax to grind … but the church should not too easily dismiss them if real “reform” is needed that would otherwise get ignored while “doing business as usual.”

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