This Is (True) Greatness

Neil Castle

2 October 2013

"THIS IS GREATNESS" is the advertising campaign that the AFL has been using in the lead up to this year's Grand Final.

Their whole campaign has been centered on defining what greatness is: Greatness is athletic prowess. Greatness is kicking a goal when the game is up for grabs. Greatness is putting your body on the line to take that mark. Greatness is the fame, the glory and the money that comes with being at the top. Greatness is being served with that Premiership medal, having it placed around your neck for what you have done and for what you have achieved. And for most us, the closest we'll ever get to be at the AFL Grand Final - that's where we'll finally get to "witness greatness".

The AFL tells us that this is what greatness is, but Jesus tells us that true greatness is something all together different.

The gospels of Matthew and Mark recount the story of James and John, boldly asking to be seated at Jesus' right and left hands when He comes into His glory, when He comes into His greatness. They don't just want to witness His greatness; they want to be great to.

Now if I was Jesus, at this point I would have rebuked them, probably pulled out the "get behind me, Satan" card I had laid on Peter a few chapters earlier, given them a three-point sermon on total depravity and the worldly desires of the flesh, and completely squashed any notions of greatness they had obviously been dreaming about, because Christians shouldn't be thinking about being great.

But thankfully, I'm not Jesus.

Instead of destroying their desires for greatness, he realigns them. He defines what true greatness is.

In Mark 10:43-45, Jesus responds to them saying, "But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

It's simple. Yet completely antithetical to how we would typically define greatness.

If you want to know what it means to be truly great, look at Jesus, who died a brutal death on the cross. For me. For you. For many.

City on a Hill exists to know this Jesus and make this Jesus known, and to do that, we must serve like Jesus, giving our lives by using our time, talent and treasure to build his kingdom. We would not continue to exist as a church if it wasn't for the many people who love Jesus, love His church, and who give their skills, their precious resources, and hundreds of hours in faithful service.

If you are not already, now is the time for you to sign up to serve, and become part of the work of City on a Hill. Here is a list of the various teams available for you to join:

  • Bookstore
  • City Kids
  • City Youth
  • Communion
  • Many Rooms
  • Media Team
  • Music
  • Production Crew - (Sound, Vision, Lighting & Logistics [Setup & Pack Down])
  • Security
  • Sunday Logistics (City Kids & Foyer Setup & Pack Down)
  • Welcome Team (Greeters & Ushers)

"That sounds awesome! So, how do I sign up?"

Great question and I'm glad you asked.

Go to, or fill in a Connect form at one of our Sunday services and hand it in at the info desk.

Over the next month we'll be highlighting a few of the different areas in which you can serve, but if you want any more details about serving at City on a Hill, come and talk to me or head down to the info desk on a Sunday.

Neil Castle

Neil is the Executive Pastor of City on a Hill Melbourne East. He is married to Kirsty and has two children. He loves music, playing guitar, and wrestling with his kids. Neil has a Bachelor of Theology from Ridley College, and a Diploma of Music from Box Hill Institute.