The world knows but two ways of influencing people: coercion and persuasion. Coercion is the exercise of power, by which one’s will is forced upon another. The bully is a good example of this. The other means is persuasion. Persuasion offers the promise of something better for the individual. The salesperson is a good example of this.
Jesus uses neither of these models. Jesus does not promise us reward nor threaten us with punishment as His means to influence our behavior. Rather, Jesus uses a model that the world does not. It is called “servanthood”. The power of the “servant” is the power of leading by example. The same power that your parents, grandparents, pastor or coach may have used to influence your behavior. The example of the servant challenges our behavior by appealing to our integrity. Do you remember when “that person” of integrity said to you, “We don’t behave like that.” “Do you remember the power their words carried?
In November we are going to ask for your support of the ministry of St. Mark’s. No one will coerce you to give…no one will try to persuade you to give. Your response will come from within out of love and respect for our LORD.
The sermons and worship services in November will help awaken that voice that makes you a better person. I hope you will respond in a way that makes “that person” proud.