Summary: Jesus modeled the greatest Servant Leadership Attributes while on earth. This is usually ignored by today’s Christian Leaders and Churches
Servant Leadership Series
Intro: The Greatest Servant Leader
Do we need leaders in the Church. Let us take a look at this short video. ( I have used the video “Ronnie” from Floodgate Productions (http://www.floodgateproductions.com/v2/))
Have you seen any Ronnies in the Churches of today? Have you come across any Ronnies in BBF? What a rhetorical question, isn’t it? We see them everyday. But then today’s sermon isn’t about those who attend the church, it isn’t about those who change the Church, when they do not like the worship or sermon or the Church elders, or the chairs or whatever.. Today’s message is about Church leaders. So what is the point in showing the video about Ronnie? Well the point is that not many of us think we are leaders of the Church. Many of us are happy to be “members” of the Church, and leave the leadership to some one else. I have said this before. All of us are called to be Leaders, once we decided to accept Jesus Christ. We are not asked if we wanted to be leaders, but we have been asked to be. John 15:16 makes it very clear. “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.” Does not give us much choice does it? So what does that got to do with leadership? Let us look at some of the well known definitions of Leadership. Noted Leadership consultant and author Ken Blanchard says “Leadership happens any time you are trying to influence the thoughts and actions of another individual to accomplish specific tasks or goals.” John C Maxwell, the noted Church leader, author and Leadership Guru, states in the introduction to the Maxwell Leadership Bible that one of the simplest, but most profound definitions of Leadership that he has come across is “Leadership is influence”. I could not agree with him more. You look at any leaders, you will ultimately realise that they influence the lives of their “followers” in many ways, some of them good, some of them bad. And why do we need to influence? I have already quoted John 15:16. If that is not enough, let us look at the good old wisdom of old testament Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you. Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning. Proverbs 9:8-9
Is there some one who still thinks that he/she is not a leader and “just a member”? Am I making some one uncomfortable? If it is any consolation, Let me assure you , today’s message is for those who do not consider them as Leaders, and also for those who consider themselves as leaders. That should cover all of us isn’t it?
In the old testament times, there were two types of leaders that the bible talks about. Let us take a look at these two for a moment.
The first one is the High Priest. Let us look at a picture of a high priest as per the instructions given in the book of Exodus. Just take a look at the robe and the accessories. Gold and precious stones, fine linen, finest fabric. When you get time, do read Exodus 28. One will be amazed at the richness of the robe and accessories of the High Priest.
Now let us take a look at the other type of leader mentioned in the Old Testament. The King. When we think about the splendor of Israeli kings, the first name that comes to mind is that of Solomon. The trappings surrounding the kings were the most rich and ostentatious of any group in society. Solomon’s palace took twice as long to build as did the temple. His wealth and fame was astonishing. His courts consumed astounding amounts of food stuffs every day. He had thousands of horses (1Kings 4:22-28) He maintained a vast fleet of trading ships (1Kings 9:26-28). Interesting statistics about the ships show that the ships used to return every third year with gold , silver, ivory and guess what? Apes and monkeys!!. (1Kings 10:22) His personal symbols of royalty included royal robes (1Kings 22:10 and 22:30, 1 Chronicles 15:27), a scepter (Gen 49:10), an ornate throne (1Kings 10:18-20), a crown (2 Sam 1:10, and 2Kings 11:12), unparalleled wealth (1Kings 10:14-29, 2Chronicles 32:27-30), a personal army of troops (2Samuel 23:8-39), and burial in royal tombs in Samaria (2Kings 13:13) or Jerusalem (2Kings 9:28, 2Chronicles 32:33). Actually the Bible records (1Kings 10:21)that nothing in Solomon’s Palace was made of silver, because in Solomon’s time silver was “nothing. ”I wish I could get some of that nothing for me.. Not to gorget that he had 700 wives and 300 concubines. Somebody said that maintaining anniversaries must have been a big problem for Solomon. This is just about the Israeli Kings. If you follow history , we will realise that the wealth, luxury and pomp of larger kingdoms like Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Hellenistic and Roman empires far exceeded that of Solomon and other Israeli Kings. In short, the King’s power, wealth and stature were a symbol of the nations.