TEXT: MATTHEW 18:1-5.
In today’s world it seems that servant leadership is gradually becoming a thing of the past. When people get in to leadership position or attain leadership status they easily become power-drunk and authoritarian. They retain all power, authority and control. They reserve to themselves alone the right to make all decisions and close-monitor everyone working under them with the aim of dealing mercilessly with anyone trying to challenge his authority or ask questions. They do not stop at this but as well use their positions to corner to themselves and their cohorts all opportunities; benefits and appurtenances belonging to everybody. This kind of leadership is not only found in the larger Society but as well in the Church and our homes.
It is sad that the Disciples of Jesus were yet to come to term with idea of servant leadership after they had seen Jesus demonstrating this for them to see with His life and ministry. They were still thinking about position and authority that the mother of James and John requested for position for her children, one to seat at the right hand and other at the left hand when Jesus established His kingdom. This is the mind of many of us too. We are always after position. In Matthew 18, our gospel reading, the Disciples were busy with who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Jesus knowing their mind set a child before them to teach them that they are to be different from the people of the world. To show his disciples that the principle of Christian Leadership is in serving others, Jesus declared in Matthew 23:11 thus: “the greatest among you must be a servant”. To Jesus Christian leaders must be self-giving rather than self-seeking.
Servant Leadership is a philosophy and practices of thinking about enriching others; it is about building a better society and creating a caring world. The servant leader shares power, does not retain everything to himself, is humble and listen to others, put the needs of others first as well lead by example.
The call to every Christian in position of leadership is to be a servant leader. This is the call of Christ to all leaders “The greatest among you must be servant of all (Matt.23:11). “For whether is greater, he that sit at meat, or he that serves? Is not he that sit at meat? but I am among you as he that serves” (Luke 22:27) “So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord and ye say well; for so I am. If I then your Lord and Master have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you example, that ye should do as I have done to you.(John 13:13-15)
Beloved, the scripture says:” The creation wait in eager expectation for the revelation of the sons of God” (Rom.8:19) our world is groaning, waiting patiently for servant leadership in the nations, churches and family unit. It is only Christian who has the mind of Christ that can provide this.
I ask; in your homes, offices, society neighbourhood and everywhere God placed you as a leader, do you exhibit servant-leadership?
Very Revd Adewale Adebiyi