Greatness is achieved through service, a Father-first attitude, and pure motives.
At our core, we all want to make a difference. Who wouldn’t want these words spoken about them:
“I am so glad they were on this planet. They made such an impact in my life!”
In fact, that is why many of us work hard at doing good things. But are all of those ‘things’ guaranteed to produce greatness? And what kind of greatness are we striving to achieve?
It’s no secret at all that our culture promotes greatness — and the means to gain it — by acknowledgment, accolades, recognition, and production. If you have nothing to show for your work, how can you measure your impact?
Jesus has revealed God’s road to greatness in the Scriptures, but it’s counter to our culture, and certainly counter to our instincts. It requires intention, planning, humility, and faith. He teaches that anyone who wants to achieve greatness can do so, as long as they follow HIS ROAD — the one less traveled.
In this article, we’ll unpack 5 stops along the road to greatness that Jesus outlines in the Scriptures. If you prefer to jump straight to the stops, simply use the links below.
- Serve others.
- Worship through service.
- Have a Father-first mindset.
- Resist comparison.
- Accept that greatness is possible for everyone
5 Stops Along the Road for Ultimate Impact
1. Serve others
“Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, ‘If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.’” Mark 9:35
The Kingdom is a little upside down, right? The way up is down. If we want to make an eternal impact, the truth is that greatness is obtained by SERVING others. And true service requires a heart for God — a sacrifice.The ways of the Kingdom are a little upside down, aren’t they? The way up is down. If we want to make an eternal impact, the truth is that greatness is obtained by SERVING others. Click To Tweet
2. Worship through service
“He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in His arms, He said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes one of these little children in My name welcomes Me; and whoever welcomes Me does not welcome Me but the One who sent Me.’” Mark 9:36-37
The acid test of our servanthood is our MOTIVES. If someone is willing to serve people who can’t pay you back, affirm you, or promote you, then you must be doing it for only one reason: for the Father as an act of worship.
3. Have a Father-first mindset
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Philippians 2:3-4
A Father-first mindset asks, “What would You want me to do, Lord? It’s not my money, it’s not my stuff, it’s not my thing. What do you want?”
This point should be a wakeup call if your desire for impact is for your own personal gain. No, a believer’s desire for impact should always point to the Father.Want to make an impact for Christ? Adopt a Father-first mindset that says: What would You want me to do, Lord? It’s not my money, it’s not my stuff, it’s not my thing. What do you want? Click To Tweet
4. Resist comparison
“Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load.” Galatians 6:4-5
We are not in competition with one another. Actually, comparison is always the root of carnality.
When you spend your time trying to figure out whether you give, read, or serve more than I do, you are acting carnally. You don’t know God’s agenda for me — and vice versa — and we don’t need to know! To achieve greatness, we all must focus on what God is asking of us.
Again, greatness is NOT about being better than another follower, it’s about fulfilling God’s agenda for my life and revealing the Truth about Him to others.
5. Accept that greatness is possible for everyone
“‘Teacher,’ said John, ‘we saw a man driving out demons in Your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.
Do not stop him,’ Jesus said. ‘No one who does a miracle in My name can in the next moment say anything bad about Me, for whoever is not against us is for us. I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in My name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.’” Mark 9:38-41
This greatness is not just for the elite and the insiders. It is not exclusive to the people who have been to seminary or Bible college or in leadership. This greatness is for everybody.
Jesus teaches that an exclusive attitude is to also be forbidden because it is rooted in a me-first mindset. And as we’ve all learned, greatness begins with a Father-first mindset.
GREATNESS FOR THE SAKE OF CHRIST
In my own life, and in my years of ministry, I have seen the only reason we resist sacrificing our time, talents, and treasure is a me-first mindset. It’s easy to get caught up in my schedule, my stuff, and my bills.
The Lord is cutting through this kind of attitude. He’s revealing a road to greatness — one less traveled, but one that leads to a legacy of impact. It requires a servant’s heart with pure motives and a Father-first attitude. Let’s not forget: the purpose of our impact is not for our own purpose, but for the sake of Christ and HIS legacy!
Today, I hope you’ll ask God to turn your focus to Him and what He has for you. Ask Him for the strength to release comparison and a me-first attitude. I can’t wait to hear your stories of greatness.
Learn what it means to be a disciple of Christ and the steps to develop a radical faith in a recent article, What Does It Mean To Be a Disciple?
Spiritual Simplicity book by Chip Ingram
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip