26 May 2015
‘If serving someone is beneath you, then leading is above you.’ – Kevin Monahan
Below the surface, whether just below or buried deep down, we all long to be in a position where we are served, to be the leaders – not the servants.
Because what is true of leaders? Their role is prominent, influential, respected, noticed and admired by peers and beyond. Leaders are served… Or so it would seem. What is true of servants? They are quiet and unnoticed, others-minded, and are considered dispensable… Or so it would seem.
But our perfect example in all things – Jesus – like everything in life flips the servant/leader dynamic on its head in Philippians 2. Modeling that true leadership is not selfishly motivated but thinks more highly of others than self (v3), looks out for the interest of others (v4), and is emptying of self, humble, and obedient before God (v6-8). And it is in Jesus’ servant-hearted obedience that God exalts His Son, giving Him the name above every other name (v9), the name that will command the worship, praise, and confession of every heart, tongue, and life in all history of the whole universe (v10-11)!
The world says that making yourself a great prominent leader is the way that others will see and admire you, and you will avoid ever having to be a servant yourself. But Scripture says that if you ‘humble yourself before the Lord and He will exalt you’ (Jm 4:10, 1 Pt 5:6). Don’t first seek to be a leader – seek to be a servant – like our King Jesus – the Suffering Servant (Is 53).
Yes, all those who participate in the worship team at any church are in a position of leadership. We are entrusted with time, microphones, skill, theology and care for a large portion of our gathered time on a Sunday. But we don’t seek to be leaders – we seek to be servants who have been raised up by God from the place of quiet, faithful, consistent, other-focused, humble, self-emptying, obedient service.
Anyone can work hard enough to raise themselves to a position of leadership. But servant leaders work hard to get themselves low. A team that is filled with servant leaders is a team that is others-focused – in the context of the band playing together on a Sunday morning, the wider team, and the congregation.
What would it look like if you led from a place of being a servant leader?
What would it look like if your team led as a collective group of servant leaders?