“True Greatness, true leadership, is found in giving yourself in service to others, not in coaxing or inducing others to serve you.” (J. Oswald Sanders, Principles of Excellence For Every Believer)
Servant Leadership is not a toolbox of skills, talents and strategies, each uniquely chosen, manipulated and abused at the whim of the leader. Servant Leadership is not one person controlling, whining and leaving others feeling they have been taken advantage of. It is not a ‘we as opposed to they’ challenge. It is not teams suspicious of others or individuals vying for power, control or personal empire building. It is not competition between teams working to manipulate for personal achievement. It is not comparing, contrasting and boasting or accepting personal accolades for someone else’s achievement.
Servant Leadership is not power and control over others; “You know the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them”. (Matthew 20:25 NIV) Servant Leadership is not misguided, “Those who guide this people mislead them and those who are guided are led astray”. (Isaiah 9:16 NIV) Servant Leadership is not working independently where “everyone did as they saw fit” (Judges 21:25 NIV) or “if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit”. (Matthew 15:14 NIV)
Rehoboam had an opportunity to demonstrate Servant Leadership when his advisors said, “If today you will be a servant to these people and serve them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants”. (1 Kings 12:7 NIV) Rehoboam rejected the advice and made his followers’ workload heavier. (As a postscript, his 17 year reign was full of wars and fighting.) Rehoboam “did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the Lord”. (2 Chronicles 12:14 NIV)
Whether in church or the corporate world, the one-person show isn’t effective. “Business (ministry) simply won’t work if each of us is only in it for ourselves”. (Simons, Fast Company) Christ set the standard of service for us.
Leadership is … serving first.
Yours in Service,
Laurie D. Kennedy