Summary: A servant leader is one who has three mottos: I choose to lose; No pride; and I will not quit.
The Servant Leader
Thesis: A servant leader is one who has three mottos: I choose to lose; No pride; and I will not quit.
Texts: Luke 22: 24-30; Phil. 2
Illustration: The Pecking Order
At Sand Hill Lake Bible Camp a few years back, Kathy and I decided we wanted to raise our own chickens. Which by the way I will never do again. What perplexed me the most was how certain chickens were always picked on and even killed. I discovered later that chickens have a Pecking Order.
Bill Hybels notes: "Take ten chickens, any ten. Put them in a pen together, and spread a little chicken feed. In short order, you will witness an amazing phenomenon. In a matter of minutes, the chickens, previously strangers, will form a hierarchy based on dominance or, in everyday language, they will establish a Pecking Order. Instinctively, they will determine, through a series of skirmishes, who the Number One chicken will be; then the Number Two; the Number Three; all the way down to the unlucky Number Ten chicken.
Much is at stake in this dance of domination. Chicken Number One pecks at and intimidates Chicken Number Two, without experiencing any kind of retribution from Chicken Number Two. Chicken Number Two will take it from Chicken Number One but will turn around and peck away at Chicken Number Three, who will in turn, take out its frustration on Chicken Number Four. The Pecking Order continues all the way down to Chicken Number Ten, who, needless to say, has a pretty miserable life - pecked but no one to peck." (115, 116)
I will add maybe even pecked to death.
This phenomenon of the Pecking Order does not belong exclusively to chickens. We see it today very clearly in the business world. But the truth is, its not just in the business world but everywhere. It happens at family picnics, parties, class reunions, sporting events, conventions, and the Church.
I recall at a recent lunch at a convention for pastors, this very phenomenon. Most of the discussion revolved around a few questions. So where do you pastor? What is your position? How many people attend your church? How big is your staff? Some even ask, "How big is your budget?" I saw pastors, missionaries, and church workers, lining up in the order. The truth is no one is immune to this phenomenon.
We all have the tendency to look at others in terms of their profession, educations, wardrobes, cars, homes, and with the subconscious mind set of fitting them into the Pecking Order.
So, what’s the problem. It’s natural. Here is the problem. Every time the disciples tried to set up a Pecking Order, Jesus rebuked them and taught them they needed to be servants. Note:
46 An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. 47 Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. 48 Then he said to them, "Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all--he is the greatest." 49 "Master," said John, "we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us." 50 "Do not stop him," Jesus said, "for whoever is not against you is for you."
Mark 9: 33-37
33 They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, "What were you arguing about on the road?" 34 But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest. 35 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." 36 He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 "Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me."
Luke 22: 24-30
24 Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 25 Jesus said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. 28 You are those who have stood by me in my trials. 29 And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, 30 so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.