Summary: This Sermon is an adaptation from John Maxwell’s Book, "The Twenty-One Indispensable Qualities of a Leader."
August 19, 2003
I. Another thing that we have to realize as Christians is that servanthood is at the top of the list of things that we are to develop, but it doesn’t just apply to being a Christian, it applies to being a person and it surely applies to being a leader.
A. There’s a principle that applies to every area of a person’s life, that can’t be ignored, and it surely applies to being a leader of anything. TO GET AHEAD PUT OTHERS FIRST.
B. Eugene Habecker says, " The true leader serves. Serves People. Serves their best interest, and in so doing will not always be popular, may not always impress. But because true leaders are motivated by loving concern rather than desire for personal glory, they are willing to pay the price.
C. John Maxwell says it this way, You’ve got to love your people more than your position."
D. Not long ago Americans got to know another American better. His name is General Norman H. Schwarzkopf. He showed great leadership ability in leading the troops in the Persian Gulf War, just like he had done throughout his military career beginning at West Point.
E. In Vietnam he turned a battalion that was a shambles around. They were a part of the Sixth Infantry, and they were known as "the worst of the Sixth." Under his leadership that Battalion became an effective fighting force and were selected for some of the most difficult missions.
F. One of those became the place that Schwarzkopf called " a horrible and malignant place." It was called the Batangan Peninsula. It was a place that had been fought over for thirty years, and was the site of numerous weekly injuries from mines and bobby traps.
G. Schwarzkopf made the best of a bad situation, introduced procedures to reduce causalities, and when a man was injured he flew out in his chopper, had the man evacuated in his chopper, and talked to the men there to boost their morale.
H. On May 28, 1970, a man was injured by a mine and Schwarzkopf flew to the man’s location. While the helicopter was evacuating the wounded man another man stepped on a mine, severely injuring his leg. The man thrashed around on the ground wailing and screaming. That’s when they realized that the first mine, was not the only one and they were standing in the middle of a mine field.
I. Schwarzkopf realized that the man could be saved and even keep his leg, but he had to be kept still. There was only one thing he could do and that was go after him. .
J. He later wrote"I started through the mine field, one slow step at a time, staring at the ground, looking for tell tale bumps or prongs sticking from the dirt. My knees were shaking so hard that each time a took a step, I had to grab my leg and steady it with both hands, before I could take another...It seemed like a thousand years before I reached the kid."
K. Two hundred and Forty pound Schwarzkopf who had been a wrestler at West Point, pinned the man to the ground and it saved his life. With the help of and engineering team Schwarzkopf got him and the others out of the mine field.
L. The quality the Schwarzkopf showed that day could be called heroism, courage, or even foolishness, but the best word for it is servanthood. On that day in May the only way that he could be an effective leader was to serve the injured soldier who was in trouble.
M. When we think of servant hood we think of something done by relatively low skilled people at the bottom of the ladder. If that is the way that you feel you couldn’t be more wrong.
N. Or you have just met people who have bad attitudes about servanthood. Like a rude worker at a government office, a waiter who can’t be bothered with taking your order, or a store clerk who talks to a friend on the phone instead of helping you.
O. As much as you can sense when a worker doesn’t want to help people, you can easily recognize whether a leader has a servants heart.
P. The truth is that the best leaders first priority is to serve others and not themselves.
II. What does it mean to have the qualities of servanthood, and be a true servant leader?
A. A TRUE SERVANT LEADER, PUTS OTHERS AHEAD OF THEIR OWN AGENDA.
1. One of the first marks of servant hood is to be able to put others ahead of YOURSELF and you personal DESIRES.