First Class Ministry

Did Jesus take up an offering from the crowd to buy the finest Roman chariot and the fastest Arabian horses? Did he require a first-class seat or a luxury vehicle in order to accept a ministry invitation? No, he rode a donkey, the transportation of the common person, and a borrowed one at that.

I don’t begrudge anyone whatever tools, including transportation, that they need in order to accomplish what God has called them to do, but it is worth remembering that without question, given the impact of his miracle-working power upon the multitudes who wanted to forcibly make Him king, Jesus could have raised all the millions He wanted for anything He wanted and yet He chose not to do that. What a contrast that is with some preachers I have encountered, including one guest speaker years ago whose office sent us a list in advance of all his “requirements,” down to the specific brand of bottled water he needed in the green room – the most expensive brand available, by the way!

We need to pray for our brothers and sisters who experience unusual ministry prominence, that like Jesus in the desert they will overcome the temptation to unduly profit from their prominence and that God will bless them with the humility they need to “succeed successfully,” while keeping watch over our own lives and spheres of influence so that we, too, will walk in humility at whatever economic level God positions us.

“I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.” John 13:16-17 NLT

“Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.” Philippians 2:6-8 NLT

Author: Mark Brand

Born in 1960, Mark was raised by ministry parents in the USA and South America. A fourth generation pastor, he sensed his own call at a very young age. Before coming to Dallas in 2003, Mark ministered as an itinerant preacher, Bible school instructor, and career overseas missionary in partnership with Teresa, his best friend and wife of more than thirty years. While living in Paris, they helped lead a French-language congregation and trained emerging spiritual leaders throughout Europe and in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. In 2011, the Antioch Church family embraced Mark’s vision to relocate into the heart of downtown Dallas. Mark and Teresa’s greatest earthly joy is their two children, Charity and Jean-Marc, who were born to them as answers to prayer following many years of infertility. In addition to serving as a Team Antioch ministry volunteer, Teresa home-schooled their children in partnership with the Coram Deo Academy where she teaches elementary school while she pursues her MA in Teaching at Dallas Baptist University. Mark holds a Master of Arts from the University of Birmingham (U.K.) and has begun his DMin at Fuller Seminary as part of their Holy Spirit Leadership and Ministry Practice cohort. Antioch Church website: Mark's former blog:

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