Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

Servant Leadership (Part 2)

Leadership is about service, not status.  It is about empowering rather than empire building, and it is about others, not ourselves.

South Pacific March 31, 2017

I was reading Oswald Chambers as a part of my devotional hour recently and read the following which just leapt off the page at me.

“’Ye call Me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am’ (John 13:13).

The curious thing about Our Lord is that He never insists on our obedience.  When we begin to usurp authority and say “You must” and “you shall” it is a sure sign that we are out of touch with the supreme Authority.  If you are in a position of authority and people are not obeying you, the greatest heart-searching you can have is the realization that the blame does not lie with them, but with you; there is a leakage going on spiritually.  Get right with God yourself and every other one will get in touch with God through you.”

As is typical of Oswald Chambers, it is pretty deep stuff. After two or three pages of reading, I am usually in deep thinking mode trying to get my head around the concepts and ideas that he has developed.

What struck me in this particular passage was the importance of stepping back from the common perception that because I have the authority, I should exercise the power that comes with it purely because I can.  That is a secular view that is not part of how Chambers saw leadership.

In the same chapter as the verse in Oswald Chambers’ passage, Jesus reflects that leadership is in fact servanthood.  This is the chapter where He washes His disciples’ feet.  This is where He reflects on the importance of service and on the value of putting others’ needs before our own.

If we have gone into school administration because we like to be in charge or because we want to be able to tell others what to do, our motivation is suspect.  This is where we need to be more conscious of just why we are in leadership.  The best motivation is service rather than supremacy.  Leadership is to be focused on helping others rather than enhancing our own self-esteem.

As I reflect back on the original reading, my challenge is to make sure that I am thinking of what I can contribute rather than what I can get back. Leadership is about service, not status.  It is about empowering rather than empire building, and it is about others, not ourselves. What do you think are the essential characteristics of a leadership based on the methods of Christ? Share in the comments bellow.

This is Part 2 in a series of posts by David McClintock. Click the Latest Posts tab below to find related posts.

Note: Article written and posted in English


David McClintock has served as a Bible teacher for most of his professional life. He has also been principal of six schools and a Conference and Union Education Director. He has twice returned full time to the High School Bible classroom from administration and has stepped back from being the Associate Education Director at the South Pacific Division when he was invited to be the principal at Avondale School, Australia, as school land is what he enjoys. He most enjoys engaging learners in knowing, loving and serving God. In July 2019, he was appointed the SPD Education Director.

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