Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Leadership Part 1
One of my main responsibilities as a Leader of a new Church is to begin to build leaders. Over the next few blog posts I will be writing on what I am looking for, expectations, and what I want to build in a leader.
1. Is there a willingness to serve?
I want to know if a person is willing to serve for the betterment of the vision and team, rather than wanting a position or title. In my 21 years of working full time with the local Church I've seen much misconception concerning this. We live in a selfish culture in today's world and the philosophy of greatness is determined by how many people SERVE YOU; but, in God’s Kingdom, greatness is determined by how many people YOU SERVE. Striving for titles and positions is not the path towards promotion in God's Kingdom. Serving is.
In Mark 10:42-45, "Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” The context here is the disciples, James and John, had just asked Jesus if one could sit on His right and the other on His left in the Kingdom of God. And this was Jesus’ reply to the whole group. You see, at this juncture in the disciples lives they still hadn’t gotten it. They were proud to be following in the footsteps of the Rabbi. They hadn’t made the shift from hearing His teachings to living His teachings; to becoming what He taught.
When you serve God, you will be more concerned with giving to others rather than keeping things for yourself. A true servant is willing to be inconvenienced for the sake of serving God and building His Kingdom. Your Gift, Talent, or Ability WILL NOT promote you – You have to have a heart to serve. When you go beyond your call of duty it results in a Medal of Honor in the military. Everyone wants the acknowledgement, the reward, the honor, the title, the recognition, but no one want to pay the price and serve just because it's the right thing to do. Tertullian said, “He who lives only to benefit himself confers on the world a benefit when he dies.”
John D Rockefeller said, “I believe that the rendering of useful service is the common duty of mankind, and that only in purifying fire of sacrifice is the dross of selfishness consumed and the greatness of the human soul set free.” Greatness is not WEALTH, Greatness is not FAME, and Greatness is not POWER. True Servanthood is marked by the willingness to Abandon all to become a tool in the hand of another. Greatness is not a matter of authority and control but of humility and service.
A true servant will display the following characteristics:
1. Willing to make oneself available to God to serve.
2. Willing to do what is needed, even when it is inconvenient.
3. Puts God above personal schedule.
4. Sees interruptions as divine appointments to cultivate a servant's heart.
5. Pays attention to needs.
6. Their heart is revealed in the little acts they do.
7. Views no task as beneath them.
God will not look you over for your medals, or your degrees, years of experience, or for your diplomas, God will look you over for your scars of service. Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s, once appeared on the cover of their annual report dressed in a knee-length work apron, holding a mop and a plastic bucket. Here’s how he described that picture: “I got my M.B.A. long before my G.E.D. At Wendy’s M.B.A. does not mean Master of Business Administration. It means Mop Bucket Attitude.” Everyday there are people around us with dirty feet, broken hearts, heavy burdens, and needs that we can help meet. It’s time to get a basin and a towel and start serving like Jesus.
The walk of a servant will lead you to the path of greatness, for it will bring elevation into your life. There is no greater calling, for God calls servants - and servants become leaders. There are no shortcuts. Remember, "That which I am part of is greater than the part I play."