Monday, July 10, 2017

Servant Leaders

The real leaders in the church are the servant leaders.  Putting those two words together seems to create an uncomfortable combination for some who think of themselves at the leaders of the church.  As politicians often forget they were elected to serve, so do some of the church's leaders forget that they were set apart for a ministry of serving Christ and, thereby, serving others.  Too many of today's leaders want no part of being a servant.  They want to be a professional clergyperson, or the Chairman of Church Administration.  Too many of today's church leaders are too busy running the church to be able to serve those who are either within or outside the church. 
But, a servant leader is different.  A servant leader leads by modeling servanthood.  The modeling becomes an invitation to others to "come and do likewise."  Certainly, the church has a premier example to follow in Jesus.  To read the gospel and to look at His life is to see one who lived and died as a leader who served.   A servant leader does not serve others out of duty, or a sense of oughtness, but instead, finds it to be a lifestyle choice that naturally and spontaneously comes forth from the heart. 

When I went to the Vidalia Church some years ago, Vernon was on the church staff as a retired part-time Associate Pastor.  Whenever I think about servant leaders, I remember the way he cared for people.  Some of us have to consciously push ourselves to do the right thing when someone in front of us is in need, but Vernon was one of those guys who just always seem to move forward with compassion and concern without having to ever give it a second thought.  In that place I may have worn the title. "Senior Pastor" but this Associate was miles ahead of me and showed me time and time again what it meant to lead through serving others. 

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