An Oxymoron is defined as “the combination of two previously contradictory terms forming a concept which takes on a new meaning and life of its own.” Here are some examples; ‘act naturally, advanced basic, airline food, alone together, clearly ambiguous, clearly misunderstood, deafening silence, friendly fire, old news, second best’.
Servant Leadership is an oxymoron. A definition of Servant might be, ‘one who serves, cleans, cares, guides and prepares the way for another’. There are 279 Biblical references to serve, 731 to Servant for a total of 1010 references in the New International version.
A definition of Leader might be ‘One who guides, influences and shows the way.’ There are 560 Biblical references to Lead, 204 to Leader and 4 to Leadership for a total of 768 references in the New International version.
Now, combine the two concepts and our definition of a Servant Leader is; ‘A person who leads by serving.’ By combining the references to serve or lead we have 1778 Scriptural references. With that many references, God must feel it’s important!
Christ set the example (John 13:1-17). He upset the culture and tradition of the day by taking the role of a servant and washing feet. He told His disciples they should follow His example. As a Christian Servant Leader, Christ suggests you are first and foremost, a servant, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all” (Mark 9:35). Christ sets the example again, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve” (Mark 10:45). Nehemiah, the great builder of the Old Testament was a servant first, “I was cupbearer to the king” (Nehemiah 1:11).
If your boss, employees or associates were to complete a survey, would they rate you as a Servant? Would they see Christ through you?
Leadership is energized and work habits are re-focused when Servant Leadership is evident.
Let your mind wander. What would your church, your business and your family be like if everyone practiced Servant Leadership? Our world would be different.
Yours in Service,
Laurie D. Kennedy