To Serve or to Be Served
Tim Davidson

Called to the Body of Christ as a pastor and teacher, Tim Davidson pioneered Word of Faith Church in Bismarck in 1980. He served as its Lead Pastor for 35 years and now serves as Founding Pastor.

Pastor Tim has pioneered six churches in North Dakota and now serves as Regional Director for Rhema Ministerial Association International. Teaching believers foundational truths from God’s Word is his passion. He has authored three yearly devotion books that are used both here and overseas to help believers become “rooted and grounded” in their faith.

God is now calling Pastor Tim to share the treasury of wisdom and knowledge God has given to him with other pastors and churches by teaching foundational truth in churches, seminars, Bible schools, and small groups. Pastor Tim is also serving in short-term, interim pastoral assignments, as well as for those needing the refreshing of a vacation or sabbatical.

Tim Davidson
1503 E. Divide Ave.
Bismarck, ND 58501
Cell/text: (701) 226-7134


serve-be-servedWho wants to follow someone who is down on his knees washing someone’s feet? Too often, we don’t see any leadership quality in that act. Leadership in the body of Christ must follow the example Jesus gave us. It’s a different way of thinking. “But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.”” (Matthew 20:25-26)

The word “minister” is translated to “servant.” Verse 27 says, “Whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant, even as the son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and to give His life for ransom for many.” It tells us that Jesus said that the way you have done things in the world is not the way it’s going to be in the church.

Being an effective leader in the church is different from the military or business world. In the military, a private has many people telling him what to do. As he receives promotion, he gains rank and soon begins to tell the ones below him what to do. Jesus says, “It shall not be so among you.” He explains that in the world, Gentile leaders exercise dominion over those who are in the ranks. In today’s world, the boss tells their staff what to do. He says if you don’t like it you can leave. God doesn’t operate this way. The fruits of your leadership, such as greatness, authority, and respect, will be a result of the measure in which you fulfill the assignment of being a servant to all those you have been assigned to lead in the Body of Christ.

In the church, leaders are not assigned to tell people what to do. We don’t have authority over their lives. We must encourage one another, exhort, and love one another. If I see you are lacking or in need, I must approach you in such a way as to help you, or serve you. I must help release you from where you are and direct you to a higher place. That’s the leader’s assignment. Jesus is the greatest authority in the church, and yet the greatest servant as well. The more you follow the role of the servant, the greater your leadership will become.

According to Webster the word leader means, “one who leads.” Leaders must be able to convince people to follow them. In the Body of Christ, this can’t be accomplished with threats, manipulation, or fear. You must learn from the Holy Spirit how to do these things. You will then learn how to influence without being overbearing or exercising dominion over people. That authority hasn’t been given to you by the Lord Jesus. The dominion Jesus gives you is to be used for your flock and not against them.

At times, in the body of Christ, leaders can get pretty harsh. They can abuse their position. They can put down others and claim it’s all in the name of Jesus. But Jesus asked, “Who among you wants to be the greatest, let him be your servant.” Jesus tells you if you want to be a great leader, you must serve the ones you’re assigned to lead.

God’s idea of serving people is illustrated by the life of Jesus. No one had greater authority than He. When you have plaguing situations such as sickness or disease attacking your body, you are to use the name of Jesus. You have authority to command it to leave you. But you don’t have authority to command people. The Scripture says you are to minister even as Jesus did. You are to have qualities of Jesus’ life in your serving. He was on a determined course of action. When He experienced difficulties along the way, He didn’t give up. He didn’t leave. He didn’t complain that it was too tough, and that they didn’t want him around. They rejected Him but he didn’t waiver. He didn’t say forget that salvation stuff. He came to fulfill the Father’s commission, to walk out God’s plan, to resist sin, to go the cross, and to be the Savior, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. He didn’t come to be served and see how many praises he could get. He kept the right focus. A spiritual leader has to keep the right focus. If you lose focus on what you’re doing, it’s easy to lose heart and run from the responsibilities of leadership. Fulfill the commission that God has placed before you.

God has called you to a leadership position, but you shouldn’t forget you have needs yourself. In Matthew 20:28 it says, “He came not to be ministered unto.” This didn’t mean Jesus never had need of being ministered to. A leader isn’t self-sufficient. Even Jesus, who came not for the purpose of being served, was ministered unto a number of times. When Jesus went to the Jordan River to be baptized by John, the heavens were opened unto Him and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove upon Him. A voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” Jesus received encouragement from the Father in heaven that day. You can be very real, very vulnerable, and still be an effective leader.

When Jesus was in the wilderness, being tempted by the devil, Matthew 4:11 says, “Then the devil leaveth Him and behold angels came and strengthened Him.” Leaders also need ministry that strengthens them. But it need not come from the ones you are called to serve. God won’t forget you. He will assign people in the body of Christ to minister unto you and fill your voids.

Every leadership position has its anointing, but the anointing God gives you isn’t for you. It’s for someone else. The anointing God gives to you is to benefit the Body of Christ. Anointed ministry starts in heaven and comes to the heart of man. It has to be received here and released. Leadership puts you in a position where the anointing you have received is released to the ones that you’ve been assigned to serve. Anointed leadership ministry is taking dominion and authority over the spiritual atmosphere, not over flesh and blood. Let what God put inside of you come out and change people’s lives. Luke 4:18 says, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them who are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”

God is able to move in the middle of all chaos and confusion, if you keep your heart steadfastly on the purpose He has given you to fulfill. He has called you to serve. You are to love and serve the Body of Christ. Serve in your home and in your workplace. You must keep yourself focused on what God wants from you, rather than demanding your circumstances be favorable before you are willing to step out and serve God. God is calling His leaders to serve people. You serve God by serving people. It’s a different, yet wonderful, way of thinking and living. We are sons of God and servants of men.