Tuesday, October 30, 2007

servant leaders

Jesus taught us what it means to become a leader in God's eyes. It means leading others in the way of Jesus. This means becoming a servant of all, willing to lay down our lives out of love if need be, but active in the sense of a living sacrifice so that our days are spent in the love of God for others in things we do.

We also learn from Jesus that good leaders are good followers. He himself was a keen follower of the Father. We're followers of God by seeking to follow Jesus in the way he lived as we have given to us in Scripture, in the gospels and in the New Testament, and by the Spirit who conforms us more and more from glory to glory into the image of Jesus even in this life.

When it comes to learning how to be a good leader, I know there are insights out there to help one through all the rigamarole- I'll call it- of responsibilities and expectations thrown on a leader. But I think we need to be careful here. Often thoughts are brought in that are really at variance against the teaching of Jesus and Scripture. For example psychology in the sense of perhaps subtle manipulation can enter, which has no place at all in being a true leader in God's eyes. Paul says they simply lived and spoke transparently, not watering down the truth at all in life and word and doing it all in the love and gentleness of Christ.

When there is a sense of entitlement or that some work is beneath one, then there's no Christian leadership. Jesus is the perfect leader for us in that he completely followed God and also completely lived where we live, loving others to the end in his life, and then in his death. And we're to follow in this love and life, the only life that the Spirit gives us as God's children, a life of love in the love of God with and to each other in Jesus and to the world.

9 comments:

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

Did you ever read "Brother Lawrence"? He wrote about finding joy in serving Christ washing dishes in the monastery. Gotta love it.

I've fixed the title on the post now. I just assumed I'd written so much about my daughter that you all already knew she was a first year 5th grade teacher in a new charter school just inside the city limits of Chicago. She wanted a mission's field and she got it!

NaNcY said...

He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.

Psalm 25:9

L.L. Barkat said...

Learning to be a follower... that's not easy for me. I wonder what stands in the way, and I don't think it's always easy to figure out.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Susan,
It's been awhile, though recently I did look at his classic, "Practicing the Presence of God" or something like that. But yes, he was getting something quite well in his life and I would do well to go back and read that again or restudy/relook at it.

As to your daughter, that's great! Yes, I can't remember exactly what was going on in my head at the time. I can't imagine, or am embarrassed to think that I could wonder about a fifth grade daughter, possibly (as I recall, she is living with you) and the face in the picture of that young lady. Good for her!

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy,
Humility. Now that's an important note in all of this!

Ted M. Gossard said...

L.L.,
I'll bet that since you evidently have something of leading in you that you know how to follow. You lead your children in the way and ways in which you live, surely, from what I've read on your blog.

I will say that I resist following those who I really don't think are following Christ that well. At the same time, I'd better look at myself on that. I do try to find others, and they're around, who I think really are an example for me in so doing.

Ted M. Gossard said...

L.L.,
I think you are right, of course. It is often hard to know exactly why we do, or don't do/have trouble doing something.

Every Square Inch said...

great post on leadership.

i just read another blog that spoke of leadership in uncomplimentary terms.

I think it's because the blogger had poor experiences with leaders...yet in my experience, godly humble leaders are a special blessing from God.

Ted M. Gossard said...

ESI,
Yes, our experience can at times be a far cry from this. But we need to find those who are really trying to walk this out. They're around, as you indicate, and a blessing to us all. Then we end up all following and leading together in our various capacities and responsibilities.