What Is a Domestique?

“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.”

Galatians 5:13


  1. The gospel of free grace in Christ delivered us from the covenant and curse of Moses’ Law; but this liberty from a “do and live” covenant does not allow any room for sin; we should rather love one another even more.
  2. If God has done for us what we considered this morning with the doctrine of election, surely we can dedicate ourselves to one another in helping all run the race to win the prize of God’s high calling in Christ Jesus.
  3. The key of our opening text is to recognize the use of God’s grace – loving service to one another (Gal 5:13).
  4. The law of Christ is bearing one another’s burdens as a loving servant for His sake (Gal 6:2; Mark 10:42-45).
  5. Paul, our brother and apostle, sometimes used the sporting events of men of the world to exhort saints to spiritual duties (I Cor 9:24-27; Gal 2:2; 5:7; Phil 2:16; 3:13-14; I Tim 6:12; II Tim 2:5; 4:7-8; Heb 12:1).
  6. The world is watching one of the greatest sporting events of the modern era – le Tour de France – a three-week bicycle race covering 2,107 miles in and around France, through the Pyrenees and Alps. A pagan American, Lance Armstrong, has won the race the last five years and is going for the record sixth in 2004.
  7. For some beautiful scenery, intense aerobic competition, team strategy, and learning about a domestique; watch the Outdoor Life Network any hour of the day or night, as it dedicates itself to the Tour de France.
  8. Let’s learn a new word tonight … domestique … and see if we have or will have the spiritual fruit it implies.
  9. We are in a race, and the finish draws near … just a few more kilometers! Are we committed to one another?
  10. As the finish gets closer, we must be even more concerned and diligent to help other racers (Hebrews 10:25).

What is a Cycling Domestique?

  1. Domestique is a French word for servant. A cycling domestique is a rider that serves the team leader.
  2. His purpose in this grueling race is to sacrifice himself in any way possible to help his main rider survive and win this incredible bicycle race against other teams trying to do the very same thing.
  3. The 2004 Tour has 21 teams of 9 members each (189 riders), though an individual rider wins it all.
    1. Lance Armstrong’s team, sponsored by the U.S. Postal Service, has eight domestiques, whose job is to serve in any way possible to help him win the overall race against the other lead riders.
    2. Our local paper on Saturday featured Lance’s favorite domestique, from our city of Greenville.
  4. Their superb coordination and devoted service were seen in the team time trial last week, where the USPS team took first in heavy rain, with the third fastest time ever, giving Lance the yellow jacket.
  5. The cyclists average near 25mph, hour after hour and day after day, covering about 100 miles a day.
  6. The domestiques are generally unknown to the public, and they sacrifice everything for their leader.
    1. They break the wind for him, allowing him to spend 40% less effort riding in their slipstream; this is an incredible advantage for the leader, and at a significant cost for the domestique.
    2. A perfectly functioning team has eight rotating domestiques drafting their leader behind them.
    3. On very hard days, the domestiques spend themselves one by one to help the leader finish first.
    4. They may end up dead last on a given day, because they have spent themselves for their leader.
    5. For those familiar with the physiology of exercise, a domestique must regularly exert himself above the anaerobic and lactate threshold, while his leader may often stay below it all day.
    6. If he punctures a tire, they will wait for his repair and then lead him back into race contention.
    7. They retrieve food and drink from supply cars, so he will not have to take risks or lose time.
    8. They surround him to keep him from crashing into other cyclists or being trapped in the back.
    9. They will chase down breakaways to keep them from getting unhindered points on their leader.
    10. If he crashes and loses his bike without time to retrieve a new one, they will give him their bike.
    11. Every domestique takes his turn to serve the team, without which the leading rider would fail.
    12. Some domestiques are better on flat terrain, others in mountains; and they serve accordingly.

What is a Christian Domestique?

  1. Let us not be an average or good church; let us be an exceptional church by synergy (Eccl 4:9-12).
    1. Though another may get a reward from Christ, we all share in the spiritual growth of the church.
    2. When a saint falls in his race to win Christ, others need to be there to help him up to race again.
    3. A church creates synergy – the combined strength is more than the sum of individual strengths.
    4. And the combination of saints in a church provides a strong defense against attacks of enemies.
  2. He is a member always considering others to increase their faith and works (Heb 10:23-25; 13:3).
  3. He is a member that forgets self and humbly gets down to make others more important (Phil 2:3).
  4. He is a spiritual member on the lookout for any failures in the team to restore them (Galatians 6:1-2).
  5. A true church member is not interested in pleasing himself, but in serving others (Romans 15:1-2).
  6. Read how a church under the full presence of the Holy Spirit thought of one another (Acts 2:44-46).
  7. He is a member totally committed and energetic about keeping true spiritual unity (Ephesians 4:1-3).
  8. Every member of a church is necessary for it to properly grow as Jesus Christ intended (Eph 4:16).
  9. Godly saints soberly know they are domestiques, regardless of their offices or gifts (Rom 12:3-13).
  10. Saints in a church have roles, and they cannot all rely on the pastor to do everything (I Thess 5:14).
  11. The role of a domestique is surely seen in giving a cup of cold water to a little one (Matt 10:40-42).
  12. Unity and individual help are provided by relating to others’ blessings and sorrows (Romans 12:15).
  13. Phebe was a great domestique, whom the apostle Paul honored before all the churches (Rom 16:1-2).
  14. The race is getting tighter in these perilous times of the last days, so let us serve well (I Pet 4:7-11).
  15. The true measure of eternal life and your election is to love others in deed and truth (I John 3:14-19).
  16. He is a member that recognizes the duty and importance of persevering prayer for others (Eph 6:18).
  17. He is a church member who remembers, “I am third.” Do you remember this sentence and a sermon?
  18. He is the church member unworried about his church doing for him, but rather what he can do for it.
  19. The prosperity and success of a church depends on each member loving and serving all the others.
  20. Consider Jason (Acts 17:5-7), Silas and Timothy and others (Acts 17:13-15), Aquila and Priscilla (Rom 16:3-4), Mary (Rom 16:6), Urbane (Rom 16:9), Tabitha (Acts 9:36), and many, many others.

What is the Reward?

  1. A reward is participating in spiritual growth and prosperity of other precious brethren (III John 1:4).
  2. A reward is building and edifying your church to be the best church possible for Christ (Eph 4:13).
  3. A reward is assuring your heart before God you are one of His elect (II Peter 1:5-11; I John 3:19).
  4. A reward is the public recognition Jesus Christ will give in the Day of Judgment (Matt 25:31-46).
  5. A reward is God’s blessing upon those who will assist His prophets and disciples (Matt 10:40-42).
  6. A reward is seeking to be great in the kingdom of heaven for the sake of your King (Matt 20:25-27).
  7. A reward is the internal blessing of the Spirit for giving to others rather than receiving (Acts 20:35).
  8. A reward is following the example of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who came to serve others (Matt 20:28).
  9. A reward is to get freed from the distracting influences of your own fears and problems (Phil 2:4).
  10. A reward is to prove to the world you and your church are indeed disciples of Christ (John 13:35).


  1. Pagans are very temperate for corruptible crowns, which we should outdo for an incorruptible (I Cor 9:24-25).
  2. Pagans are willing to sacrifice themselves and serve another who gets the glory, which we should also beat.
  3. We cannot allow pagans on bicycles to sacrifice their bodies and glory and share muffins better than saints!
  4. Let us strive for exceptional walking with God, exceptional families, and an exceptional church by serving.
  5. Young, old, uncomely, weak, unruly, and feebleminded members are children of the King. They are worthy!
  6. You have done very little by attending an assembly. What have you done to provoke the others spiritually?
  7. When you enter the parking lot, you should be thinking about whom you can help and by what godly means.
  8. Every day of your life you should be considering the situations of other members and do something for them.
  9. We can realize God’s best for our lives individually and collectively as a church by diligent, loving service.
  10. Do you have a servant’s heart? If not, confess your wickedness and ask for one. If yes, ask God to enlarge it!
  11. The greatest in the kingdom of God and those who appreciate their salvation will be servants (Matt 20:20-28).
  12. You must get out of your comfort zone and selfish habits to became a burden-bearing domestique for others.
  13. Your comfort zone and habits have been built by selfish practices to avoid truly loving and caring for others.
  14. Your church should be the closest family and friends you have with the common goal of perfection in Christ.

For further study:

  1. Description of cycling’s domestiques.
  2. Official website of the Tour de France.
  3. Sermon Outline: I Am Third.
  4. Sermon Outline: The Purpose of the Church.
  5. Sermon Outline: Brotherly Love.
  6. Sermon Outline: Bowels of Compassion.
  7. Sermon Outline: Am I My Brother’s Keeper?
  8. Sermon Outline: Blood is Thicker than Blood.
  9. Sermon Outline: Why Wear Pretty Shoes?
  10. Sermon Outline: The Life of the Church.