Summary: Servant Leaders are blessed with the ability of learning from the past experiences, realities of the present and the possible consequences of our decisions for future. This is foresight
Servant Leadership Part 12:
I have been talking about Servant Leadership in my many sermons from this pulpit before. However, I keep wondering if we still consider Servant leadership as some thing abstract, some thing utopian, unreal, not practicable? Or is there a reason for us to adapt Servant leadership in our day to day lives?
Let us look at our lives and the lives of people around us. We can categorise the lives into three simple categories.
Life of Survival: We just go on with the daily chores and move along. We do what is necessary to barely stay alive. Do things because we have to. We are not passionate about anything we do. We don’t utilize our talents. We don’t even want to know what talents we have. We are living out our days, hoping that no crisis or opportunities arise,
Life of Success: We live for success, financial success, power, fame, (or notoriety). People who live a life of success tend to use everyone around them for personal goals. This person might be terrified at the thought of death, or the idea of being alone. Despite putting on a façade of happiness, these people are always in angst and fear. You might have heard this story. There was a poor man who had just enough money to support himself and his family. He spent his days enjoying modest pleasures and helping others. He came into contact with an extremely rich man who was immersed in his business, worked 18 hours a day, and was a slave to success in everything he did. The Poor man commented to the wealthy man. “ I am richer than you are”. “How can you say so? “. Asked the rich man. “Well” the poor man said, I seem to have as much money as I want, but you don’t seem to have that.” You see a person who leads a life of success is dominated by things around him/her. Yet the Bible advises us “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” (Luke 12:15)
Life of Significance: Here we have discovered our passions and gifts and are able to combine these two to bring meaning to individual and community life. We use our position, our lives to add true value to the world around us and to the lives of others. We have come to know that the Gift of Life matters, and that human beings are instruments of God’s bidding. We believe that God has “equipped us for His purposes” (1 Cor 12:4-7)
Leo Tolstoy said : “ Life is a place of service. Joy can be real only if people look upon their life as service”. If we have to live a life of Significance, it is possible only through putting Servant Leadership into daily practice. Once again it does not matter, what is our role in life. It does not matter where we “work”. I was having a discussion with the Haggai Director yesterday, and his companion asked Leslie “Do you work?”. You generally know the answer. The answer from a home maker, a person who does not work in a corporate world, or outside the home, will generally be that “ No, I do not work”. Think about it. Many of us men get into this habit of saying “ No my wife does not work” isn’t it? Is it really true? Is housework not “work”? So my point is this, it does not matter where you “work” at home or in an office, we can still choose a life of significance to live, and there by glorify God.
Each one of us spend 80000 to 100000 hours of our lives at work. But is it some thing that we do within weekends, because we have to? Because we have to earn a living? That is a survival life attitude. Or are we Chasing illusory success at work? That is a Life o=f Success attitude. Or is it because we believe truly that God has placed in that situation to live a fulfilling a life marked with purpose and passion? God intended that we engage in our work as a gift and a vocation, as a profound opportunity to participate, in what we do for a living and in God’s creation. Work in meant to give meaning to our lives, improve the world in which we live, and provide a daily opportunity to be witnesses to Christ.
And we have defined leadership as influence. This has been clarified many times in my previous sermons. As a Christian, each one of us is called to influence the life of others. When we lead a life of significance, we become agents of influence and thus leaders by our definition. You see , Leadership, like life, is a journey, not a destination. So Servant leadership is a journey that we have to go through everyday of our lives, wherever God has placed us.