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Serving as Leaders

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By Secretary/Treasurer Ed Kreiner
April 2, 2019
 
I recently heard the rather startling results from a trusted leadership study. It indicated that even the slightest increase in power for a leader results in an equal decrease in compassion. I’m not certain why this tendency exists, but according to the study it helps explain why so many well-meaning, well-recognized and welldeserving people have advanced to places of power and authority only to ruin their organization. The higher you climb the leadership ladder the less actual concern you tend to have for those below you ... unless.
 
Unless you do something to prevent it from happening. Don’t you think this is why Jesus so emphasized the role of serving in the church? Especially among those who are leaders.
 
As the New Testament church increased in numbers, the Apostles initiated a search to be made for qualified men to be selected from among all the people. They should be recognized and selected as superior among their peers, and they should be called “deacons”- the servants and servers of tables. What? What a misappropriation of talent and skills. Find the best and then have them serve rather than lead. Who said serving isn’t leading? It seemed to work with Jesus.
 
• Mark 9:35 (NIV84) Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all."
 
• Matthew 20:25-28 (NIV84) Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. (26) Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, (27) and whoever wants to be first must be your slave-- (28) just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
 
Of course, the prime example of this is Jesus Himself. He purposely humbled Himself and became a servant. He strategically stripped Himself of His privileges and protocol so He could serve others. He didn’t abandon His leadership responsibilities but, through his commitment to serve others, he maintained compassion for all people.
 
• 1 Peter 5:2-5 (NIV84) Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers--not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; (3) not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. (4) And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. (5) Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."
 
Whether serving comes naturally or not, it is essential that we follow the Lord’s example. The higher we go the more we serve. Because serving puts us in touch with the people over whom we are responsible. We, like Jesus, are able to be “touched by the feelings of their infirmities”.
 
If in increasing our power and authority, we don't also increase in serving we will certainly decrease dangerously in areas of compassion. Lord, direct my heart, my attitude and my steps so that as I advance in Your Kingdom I may increase as a servant.