One of our five major ministry areas is Servant Leadership training - our goal is to “empower servant leaders to strengthen the church.” In November we coordinated two major national events focused on leadership: a retreat for pastors and lay people on the theme “Servant Leadership by the Power of the Holy Spirit” with special guests Rev. Dr. John and Linda Piippo of Holy Spirit Renewal Ministries, and a Leadership Empowerment weekend for state-level young adult leaders.
As always, we ask ourselves: Did our teaching or counsel make a difference? What will be the long-term impact? Was it worth the effort for the students and for us? The feedback we received from the Servant Leadership Retreat was encouraging: “I came to learn with a willing heart how to be a servant and serve better. . . this is the way to have leaders trained to serve well in the Kingdom of God. . . we are going in the right direction, so do not turn back!”
This notion of servant leadership, i.e. leading in the way of Jesus, is giving pastors and leaders a fresh perspective on how to work with their people. In visual terms, servant leadership turns the organizational pyramid on its head. A leader after God’s own heart serves others with integrity, shares power (by developing new leaders), promotes the well-being of those under their care and inspires them to excel. (This is in stark contrast to the leader who focuses on how others can serve them.) How about your and my leadership style? Whose leadership principles do we apply in our family, our church, our workplace or school? Do we lead like Jesus or like a dictator? How can we be better leaders “after God’s own heart?”