Aug 23 2011
Here's to "Religious Leaders", Jesus-Style

 

So Americans are losing faith in "religious leaders". 

I'm not.

I mean, sure, if "religious leaders" means office-holders at religious organizations who love being experts or "sought-after speakers" or CEO/visionaries or who build churches around their own personal awesomeness, well then, okay, you've got me.  Just being honest:  I have lost some faith in that kind of leadership.

But not leadership, Jesus-style.  No, for those people, those servant-hearted men and women whose names you may never see on a book at a Christian Bookstore (TM), I thank God.  I've not lost faith in them.  They've shown me how God is at work, and the way He works is shocking:  He raises the humble, the weak, the unlikely.  He says "THIS is how you lead", and then He washes the feet of a motley bunch of liars, betrayers, and sinners with no earthly status whatsoever. 

That's what Jesus called "authority".  It's upside-down style. 

So -- and I know I'll sound like the beer commercial, but:  Here's to you, Jesus-style leaders.  I may not know who you are, by name.  Not here.  Not yet.  Good thing God knows who you are, though, and He doesn't need you to be on a stage, or under lights, and He doesn't need to read your book, to know you. 

In my little list below, "Leaderman" will likely accomplish some impressive things, and earn some applause.  But -- speaking for myself, at this point of my life?   I can't get enough of the other kind.  So here's to you, servant leaders.

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Servant Leader:  Has something to say
LeaderMan:  Wants a platform on which to say something


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LeaderMan:  You almost feel you know his family, because he's your Leader
Servant Leader:  You allow him to influence you, because you know his family

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LeaderMan: Wants you to know he's a Leader
Servant Leader:  You're not sure *he* knows he's a leader


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LeaderMan:  Loves the idea of the Gospel, and the idea of The Church
Servant Leader: Loves God and the actual individual people God brings across his path


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LeaderMan:  A great speaker, but self-described as, "Not really a people person."
Servant Leader:  Makes himself a people person


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LeaderMan:  Helps you find where God is leading you in his organization
Servant Leader:  Helps you find where God is leading you


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LeaderMan:  Gets together with you to talk about his vision
Servant Leader:  Just gets together with you


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LeaderMan:  Resents "sheep stealing"
Servant Leader:  Doesn't get the "stealing" part, since he doesn't own anyone to begin with


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LeaderMan:  Wants the right people on the bus
Servant Leader:  Wants to find the right bus for you, and sit next to you on it


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Servant Leader:  Shows you his whole heart
LeaderMan:  Shows you a flow chart


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LeaderMan:  A visionary who knows what the future looks like
Servant Leader:  Knows what your kitchen looks like


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LeaderMan:  Everybody must be excellent!
Servant Leader:  Excellent at welcoming everybody, even the inept


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LeaderMan:  Talks about confronting one another in love
Servant Leader:  Actually confronts you in love


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LeaderMan:  Impressed by success and successful people
Servant Leader:  Impressed by faithfulness


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LeaderMan:  Invests time in you, if you are "key people"
Servant Leader:  Wastes time with you


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LeaderMan:  Reveals sins of his past
Servant Leader:  Reveals sins of his present


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LeaderMan:  Gives you things to do
Servant Leader:  Gives you freedom


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LeaderMan:  Leads because of official position
Servant Leader:  Leads in spite of position


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LeaderMan:  Deep down, threatened by other Leaders
Servant Leader:  Has nothing to lose