Building the church is God's great project on earth. In our church, every message and event is designed to build our church. The messages become the culture of our church. What we preach today is a seed that becomes a full-grown tree tomorrow. "Followership" and servanthood are high-priority messages (seeds we plant) because they build the culture of the kingdom of God.

This builds the church because the house of God is built on serving. When people join our church, we tell them they are now members of a house, not a hotel. Rather than expecting to be served as in a hotel, we expect them to accept a serving role to help grow, build, and maintain the house.
"You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?" says the Lord of hosts. "Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house."
(Haggai 1:9)
If we neglect His house in favor of our own house, then our efforts will vaporize. When His house is our first priority, however, we bring favor to our own.

The greatest curse in the world today is self-centeredness. A New York phone company surveyed 500 telephone conversations. What was the most common word? "I"—it occurred 3,900 times in the five hundred calls.
…in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves….
(2 Tim. 3:1-2)
Looking up "troubled times" on the Internet, it seems that everything but self-centeredness is blamed for perilous times—guns, drugs, economic downturns, changes of governments, fanatics in the Middle East, terrorists, weather patterns, global warming, El Niño, business monopolies, illiteracy, poverty, family breakdowns, violence, lawless media, hard-line religious groups, insensitive governments, road rage, high medical fees, interest rates, floods, tsunamis, bank charges, failures, and of course, wild animals are blamed for all kinds of problems we face today.

However, the above scripture reveals that the real cause of perilous times is flawed character, not dire circumstances. The character flaws Paul lists in 2 Timothy 3:2-9 spring from self-centered living. The shocking reality concerning this dark list of flaws is that Paul states these people have a "form of godliness"—they go to church!

To claim to be Christian means we claim to live unselfish lives. Great character springs from unselfishness. We bless others at our own expense. For many people, their world is all about them. Everything is always about them and what they're doing. But God created our universe to orbit around His Son, Jesus Christ, not ourselves:
…All things were created through Him and for Him.
(Col. 1:16)
Let's not shout amen just yet though. Such a lifestyle calls for changes. This is not just theory. We actually have to change how we live life so that we are not first in our world, but rather Christ is. Here are a few practical ways to do this:
  • Try getting through today without talking about yourself and what you're doing. Instead, ask others about themselves and what they're doing.
  • Try listening to someone else's story without talking about the same thing that happened to you (even though yours might be bigger, better, longer, nastier…).
  • Once every day for the next week, help someone else get what he or she wants. And let it mean you're not going to be able to do what you want.
  • Go to church with a view of seeing what you can give rather than what you can get.
  • Write your results in your journal. Changing from a self-centered life to a Christ-centered life is not difficult if we simply die to ourselves and accept the life of someone who lives for another.
…whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. 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.
(Mark 10:43-45)
In this lifestyle, we help others at our expense, when it is inconvenient to us. When we move from a life of comfort to life with discomfort, serving others even though it costs us time and money, we have embraced the kingdom of God.

Serve God and not serve people? Impossible! Serving people is serving God. If we're unable to serve people, we can't serve God.

Source: Top 10 Qualities of a Great Leader by Dr. Phil Pringle
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers