Sergeants in God's Army

a mini-sermon
by Michael Fischer

How many of you know this children's song?

"I may never march with the infantry, ride with the cavalry, shoot the artillery.
I may never fly o'er the enemy, but I'm in the Lord's army!"
Have any of you never heard that the Army has ranks? You've got the highest ranks, the generals. Then, under them, you've got the colonels, majors, captains, and lieutenants - all the officers. But do these high ranks make the Army run? Anyone who knows the score, knows who really keeps it all going: the sergeants. The officers give the orders, but the sergeants carry them out. By the way, if you're more familiar with the Navy or the Coast Guard, whenever I say "sergeant," think "chief petty officer," and you'll get the idea.

We were just singing about the Lord's army. Are there generals and majors in God's army? No, no one is going to outrank Jesus, and His rank is Captain - the Captain of our salvation (Hebrews 2:10). The US Army has their slogan, "Be all you can be." I think we ought to "be all we can be" for Jesus. We ought to be the ones who get the work done: sergeants for the Lord. So what kind of sergeant should we be? Let's talk about three of the most important ones.

First, we have the drill sergeant. This is the one with the Smokey-the-Bear hat who's always saying things like, "Drop and give me twenty, maggot! I can't hear you!" And he doesn't count "hup, two, three, four;" he counts, "erp hoo hee hor hmm haw hroo..." This sergeant has an extremely important job: he takes a bunch of civilians who know nothing about the Army, and turns them into soldiers.

In the US army, this happens in a place called basic training. In the Lord's army, there are two places where it happens. One is called discipleship. The other is called Sunday School and junior church. Can you lead a new believer, or a child, in the right path? Can you teach him what he needs to know to begin to grow in Jesus? Are you a discipler, or a teacher of children? We can all be drill sergeants.

Next, we have the first sergeant. The captain gives the orders for his company, but the first sergeant makes sure they're carried out, acting under the captain's authority. If the captain says, "We're going on a 20-mile overnight hike," then the first sergeant makes sure everybody has all the equipment he'll need. The captain has the responsibility; the first sergeant does the footwork.

In the Lord's army, that could be a pastor, running a local church under Christ's authority. That could be a deacon, overseeing some aspect of running the church. That could be a husband protecting and running his family. That could be a Sunday-school teacher or Christian schoolteacher working with her class, or a home-school mother working with her own children. Just about all of us are called to be first sergeants in some area of life. If you are a first sergeant, make sure you're working under Jesus' authority, not your own.

Finally, we have the sergeant who sits in a neat, clean office, wearing an immaculate uniform, ready to talk to anybody about joining the Army: the recruiting sergeant. He has to look his best and be on his best behavior, because he represents the Army to those who may be thinking of enlisting. He has to make a good impression, not for his own sake, but for the Army's sake.

In the Lord's army, recruiting sergeants are the most important of all, because the Lord's recruiting sergeants are called soul-winners. Like that Army sergeant, we have to maintain our testimony before those who may be watching us and judging Christ by what they see in us. This position is not optional. We are all called to be recruiting sergeants.

Now, what kind of sergeant are you? If you're none of the above, I'm not going to make you drop and give me twenty. I'm just here to tell you, you aren't "being all you can be" for Jesus. Think on these things. Dismissed!

Back to the Sermons page