Alfred the Butler – a picture of a good pastor?


One of the mistakes that people in your church will make is that because they know that you are their servant, they will assume that they are your master.

I’ve had people tell me what songs to sing on Sunday, what sermons to preach, how to preach, how to run the services, how to advertise certain things.  Now I am not above getting some advice, but I’m talking about people who seem to think that they are your master.

Jesus told us to go and serve the church, He gifted us as pastors to serve the church.  But you can never allow the church to become your master.

That truth seems difficult for people to grasp, so let me use an analogy.  Remember Batman?  Whether we are talking about the comic books, the 1960s TV series, the Tim Burton films or the new Christopher Nolan films, Bruce Wayne always has his loyal butler Alfred.

Now if you went to Wayne Manor to visit, Alfred would be your servant.  He would be there to meet your needs, help make you comfortable for the visit, and feed you.  He would be your servant.

But you are not his master.  Master Bruce is his Master.  If your requests contradict Master Bruce’s requests, if your requests would endanger the Wayne family or the Wayne house – then Alfred would (very politely – he is English) decline your request.

He would still be your servant.  He would still care for you and feed you.  But he would not ever take your orders when they contradict Master Bruce’s.

Pastors, you are the servants.  You go out there and feed the people.  You go out there and love the people.  Help them get comfortable on planet Earth.  Love, care, feed, pastor, make disciples, persuade, encourage, inspire, challenge.  Be their servant.

But never let them dictate where you go and what you do.  Master Jesus is your master and you have no other.  Don’t let your church be congregation led or deacon-possessed.  Don’t let fear of the people lead you.  Honour your Master in heaven above all earth!

Published by Tree of Life Church

We are a growing network of growing churches, with services weekly in Dagenham, Guildford, Watford, Croydon, Brentwood and Dorset. We are also planting churches in Cambridge, Suffolk, West Midlands and Hemel. Find out more at, and

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