Thursday, September 11, 2014


Servant Leadership

Writingin "Leadership Journal" Lane Severson looks at a quarterback controversy in Chicago and concludes:
Many people in ministry aspire to be the head pastors, the "cultural architects," the visionary leaders. You know, the starting quarterbacks. Some of us are in that position of top-level leadership. But a lot of us are assistant, youth, or family pastors. Or perhaps volunteers working a day job to stay afloat while giving our time at church. For those primed for the field, we chafe a bit. We are backups but we really wish we were starters. A lot of us feel that we are just biding our time until we get a chance to do what we feel like we are really called to do. Until then we feel like that leader who is above us is in our way.

But isn't this actually a perversion of what it means to be a Christian leader? A Christian leader imitates Christ by giving themselves up for the sake of those around them. We are not called to increase our own power or influence. Our job is to live our calling faithfully — to ensure the flourishing of everyone the Lord brings into our lives.
I think this is a good metaphor for much conflict that roils the church these days. Way too many leaders hide behind monikers like "change" to force through things for which consensus ought be built. Most people say that "Well, there are always a few malcontents," and that's true, but does there have to be? You see, leadership, particularly servant leadership, tries to minister to all. Who in the church asks what that malcontent needs to learn?

The apostles were constantly frustrated by those that "diverted" Jesus. The woman that touched the hem of Jesus' garment was considered by the apostles as a distraction, but for Christ she became the point. The apostles tried to shoo away the small children while Christ, again, made them the point.

Not every pastor that steamrolls over a church does so for the sake of personal gain of power or influence. Many do it because they truly believe that the direction they are going is the only way to "save the church." But in doing so they neglect the most important lessons Christ taught. The Pharisees were often right on the law - and yet Christ condemned them. For Christians how we achieve our goals is as important as achieving them.

The mega church rocked by financial and sexual scandal does more damage than good.

Things are more complex than we want them to be.


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