Jesus came and turned the idea of leadership on its head. The greatest Leader of us all tells us:
25And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.
26But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.
27For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. (Luke 22:25-27, King James Version)
I heard an interesting sermonette yesterday. In the world, problems often don’t get solved and even get worse. Why? Whenever you have an environment where the same amount of work is required from fewer people, then mistakes are bound to happen. Mistakes can lead to problems – real problems. Then, the blame game starts. People are busy pointing fingers instead of fixing the immediate problem.
I’m not so sure we in the Church are immune to this. OK, I’ll admit I have the gift of understatement.
One passage the sermonette looked at was the Parable of the Good Samaritan. The Samaritan saw a problem, took ownership of the problem, came up with a solution to the problem and followed through with the solution. And then, Jesus said, “Go, and do thou likewise” (Lk 10:37).
The speaker then asked, “What can you personally do?” Indeed, whenever faced with a problem, what is the Godly solution? In large corporations, perhaps you don’t have the power to fix all or even most of the problem(s). However, each of us can do our part, whatever our role and whatever the organization.
But, isn’t that leadership? Doing what needs to be done? Isn’t that what a servant does? Seeing what needs to be done and doing it?
In the world, leadership is seeing what needs to be done and making someone else do it. In the world, servitude is waiting for someone to tell you what needs to be done. Godly leadership is upside-down from this model.
God’s people have bought into the lie that they are not leaders. “Pay and pray”, they are told. Maybe that is why it is hard to find volunteers sometimes. Maybe that is why there is so much talking and arguing about governance. Maybe that is why the churches are in such disarray.
Perhaps it is time to stop talking about leadership and start being leaders. Perhaps it is time to see a need and fill it. Perhaps it is time to stop arguing about who is in charge and waiting for instructions. Perhaps it is just plain time to do the work.