Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Becoming a Better Servant not a Better Leader

Photo Credit: Dr. R. Bickert

After studying the teaching of Jesus on being a servant, I began to think how can I be a better servant and not a better leader. In the past, I used to think how I would become a better leader. I read dozens of books on leadership because I wanted to improve my leadership ability and skill. I was fascinated with the subject of leadership because there seems to be a leadership crisis both the church and the world. John Maxwell's dictum that, "Everything rises and falls on leadership," is true, making leadership a necessity. 

Despite the leadership crisis around, my encounter with the actual words of Jesus on servanthood forced me not to think how to be a better leader but to be a better servant. In fact God seems to impress on me to go the extreme and take the words of Jesus literally-become a servant-servant of all. After much thought and prayer, abdicating my leadership position might be the radical way to go to become a real servant in a real world! I’d be extremely happy if I’ll just be a pure servant for the Cambodian church.

The path of positional leadership is not the path I should follow. Leading might not work for me any longer but serving; this I want to pursue. I don’t think I have what it takes to be a leader, but I do have what it takes to be a servant. I have the heart to do the least job available. I am willing to do dirtiest job  out there. I can do what a real servant can do. 

Many people think about leadership but not service. Although politicians talk about 'service' what they really want is leadership position, power and prestige. Wait a minute, there should never be no polarization of being a leader and a being servant. Right, and that's why others teach servant-leadership. Servanthood and leadership should go hand-and-hand they argue.  The servant concept becomes a facade as one wants to be a servant yet still clamoring for leadership power and position. 

Ironically, however, one becomes a better leader by being a better servant.