I’ve been thinking lately about leadership.
In part because of discussions I’ve been involved in. In part because of what I observe in the church as I engage in ecumenical and denominational conversations. In part because of what we see being done by our elected and appointed politicians. In part because it’s just something I have an interest in.
How do we lead?
What does a good leader look like?
What does leadership mean?
Over the last few months we’ve been looking at various leaders in the Old Testament in our church. People like Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Samuel, David, Amos, Isaiah, Jeremiah. A number of these names may come to mind when you might think of great leaders of the Old Testament.
But I’m not sure you could actually call them leaders.
Sure they did great things. Sure some of them led. Sure many of them changed the course of life for those who walked with them. But were they really leaders?
When you look at their stories closely, you see these were men who responded. Some of them even resisted when being asked to step into the position of leadership.
Abraham was an old man. Jacob was on the run for his life. Moses was in exile, hiding from the Egyptians. Samuel was a young boy who was living with the priest. David was a shepherd, another young man. Amos was a prophet with no background or connections to the “expected” professions where a prophet might emerge. Isaiah confessed he was a sinful man. Jeremiah thought he was too young.
Yet God spoke.
And they all listened.
They weren’t leaders. They were servants. Servants of God, called to listen to His voice. Called to speak to His people. Called to help. Called to lead, yes, but also called to serve.
And so are we.
We are called to be leaders in the world today. But we are called to lead by serving.
We are called to serve the needy in our community. We are called to help those who struggle. We are called to share the love of God with our neighbours, just as Jesus did.
Jesus Christ is our leader, our example, and we are his followers, his disciples.
We are indeed called to be leaders, but we are also called to be servants. Following the call of God, the leadership of Jesus Christ and the prompting of the Holy Spirit, we serve God and our communities to bring His Kingdom here on earth.
We are called to make the world a better place.
All leaders, political, business, church, family, urban, rural, young, old, we should remember this: Leaders change the world for the better.
And it’s easier to change the world when you serve.