Sunday, May 23, 2010

Servant Leadership

I believe that the theme of servanthood is an essential concept for leadership. All good leaders are servant leaders. Servant and leader are two roles that must be combined in one person.

The servant-leader is servant first. It begins with the understanding that one needs to serve, and wants to serve. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. Jesus teaches all leaders for all time that greatness is not found in rank or position but in service. True leadership is grounded in love, which must issue in service.

The significance of the attribute of servanthood is Jesus’ example. Jesus listened to and served those on the periphery and the marginalised and encountered them with grace and love. He saw their needs and responded in kindness, not concerning Himself with their status or character. Through His ministry Jesus presented the gospel in a living and tangible way. The gospel ‘bridge’ must be two ways - not a monologue, but interaction - building relationships by serving.

The servanthood of Jesus shows us the freedom to surrender what one wishes, to serve the purpose of God and the good of others; the faith to believe that God’s power will be at work through our weakness – as it happened in Jesus, who offered Himself as broken bread and poured-out wine for the world. Jesus took on the very nature of a lowly servant when He entered human life in His incarnation. What an example Jesus provides of the spirit of humility, and being made in human likeness. Externally, therefore, Christ appeared as a mere human being; outwardly considered, He was no different from other people. This was indeed an act of great condescension for one who possessed the form of God. But Christ's incomparable act did not end here; He further humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Work & Calling

I attended a Marketplace Ministry Conference last Friday, and was reminded that the Bible has a lot to say about work and calling. Indeed, Jesus said, “do work till I come.” So how would Jesus have us, in the midst of our busy and often stressful work environments, rise up and bear fruit to our Father’s glory?

During one of the workshops, we were told that many workers feel unfulfilled and frustrated in their work, including Christians. Work can be boring, mundane, stressful, and insignificant. Many do not see a bigger purpose for their work than simply earning money or meeting temporal needs of those served. While satisfying the needs of self and community are necessary, these purposes are ultimately unfulfilling if one does not sees a connection with God’s purposes.

For some, work feels a bit like the Egyptians must have felt when Pharaoh said, “let them collect their own straw but don’t reduce their quota of bricks.” This is not how work is meant to be. The Bible gives us an entirely different view of work – a realm where we can expect to see His kingdom come, His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. This is the way God intended work to be from the beginning of time – His children managing His creation in relationship with Him.

We should establish that our everyday business as a call from God for which He anoints us and equips us. God’s personal invitation for us to work on His agenda using the talents we’ve been given in ways that are eternally significant.