“We must be regarded as Christ’s subordinates and as stewards of the secrets of God”.
1 Cor 4:1 NEB
Christian teachers, pastors and preachers are often regarded with a certain amount of awe by their members. It is because they study the Bible more than most others and are thought to understand the ways of God. Just as a medical doctor knows more about the working of your body than you do, so a minister is regarded as having superior knowledge of God and of theology.
Here Paul describes this role as “stewards of the secrets (or mysteries) of God”. God desires to reveal these mysteries to his own people. “The steward … was the major domo. He was in charge of the whole administration of the house or the estate; he controlled the staff; he issued the supplies and the rations; he ran the whole household; but, however much he controlled the household staff of slaves, he himself was still a slave where the master was concerned” (W. Barclay, The Letters to the Corinthians, p41). Not only did Paul and the other teachers have to remember this. The ordinary members had to restrain themselves from putting their leaders on pedestals and losing sight of their task as stewards of the great teachings, secrets and mysteries of God in Christ.
Unfortunately some teachers and leaders of the Christian community have forgotten this, as do their people. Titles and dress have given the impression of prestige and power. And some enjoy the power for its own sake and crave for more. Try to steer your leaders away from this kind of self-glory. And remind others what it’s all about. They are stewards, nothing more, and all the glory must go to Christ.
Lord, keep your servants humble and willing to serve.