A Privilege to Serve
A Privilege to Serve
The text Matthew 20:28, which speaks to servant leadership, serves often to remind me that it is an honor to serve. Says Christ of Himself, "just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many" (NKJV). This statement underscores the true picture of servant leadership. However, a closer look at the passage reveals at least three points: Christ is the model servant leader; leadership is about service, and service is inclusive.
Christ the Model Servant Leader
Following the reelection of my administrative colleagues and me to a second five-year term, to the leadership of the Atlantic Caribbean Union Sunday past, I reminded myself that our reelection was a privilege and in no way an entitlement. To put it bluntly, the church does not owe us anything. It is simply an opportunity to serve the Lord. And the above text presents a perfect example in Christ the model leader. He is the sum total of leadership. No wonder the Apostle Paul explains that Christ, "who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men" (Phil. 1:6, 7, NKJV). What a privilege!
Leadership Is a Service
Unfortunately, the world considers leadership anything but sacrifice or service. Instead, leadership is catered to, served and, in some instances, blindly followed. To clarify, I feel that leadership should be respected but not worshiped. I would imagine that some of you have had to resist the temptation of accepting any unreasonable praise or accolades. In contrast the example of Christ takes precedence. What do we see of Him? In the midst of a cadre of men seeking fame and position, Christ defined leadership by simply serving. John 13 pictures Him filling a basin with water and washing the feet of His disciples. This goes against the grain of what the world regards as leadership. Nevertheless, it is the hallmark of church leaders.
Servant Leadership Is Inclusive
The example of Christ’s leadership is undeniably inclusive. Notwithstanding the misguidedness of His disciples, He stuck with them seeking to help them realize their potentials. Likewise, we are called to assist our members and colleagues and help them realize their capacity for service and usefulness. And this is not baseless, as the Apostle Paul explains that each person is gifted (1 Cor. 12:7). That fact speaks to purpose; and to the extent that we help one another identify the gifts within, while providing opportunities for their use and development, is the extent that we equip the church to fulfill the mission of God. Such leadership does not focus on self or self-preservation but on building others. Accordingly, I express appreciation to those whom Christ has placed in my path to develop me. I want to enable others to see what God has deposited in them, and at the end of their service, may the words of a Steve Green song be fulfilled: “May all who come behind us find us faithful.”