Who else better to look at in Scripture than Jesus when it comes to servant leadership. Today, are you saying, “well, today is a busy day” or “today, I just can’t find time to call anyone back, because I am just too busy”? Well, if this is you, then you have come to the blog just for you! Kind of sounds like I am trying to recruit you for the Army, but I’m not… I am simply sharing my heart for the next couple of minutes as you read this. Since day one working at a church, the first person you greet coming into the church office is the church secretary. Usually a woman, but if a man, that’s okay, too, but as you walk into the church, the secretary will greet you with a “hello, how may I help you today?” Or “who are you and what do you want?” depending on the time of day. Hopefully, all secretaries are nice as can be. Then, as you tell the secretary that you want to speak with so and so, or go do this and that, you have to go through a pastor, youth pastor, or missions pastors first.
As we were sitting in staff meeting this morning, our pastor, Pastor Bare, looked at us as we were about to close and said, “Always make yourselves available to people. Always.” Those words hit me like the rock David used to sling at Goliath right in between the eyes…except for it didn’t kill me. It encouraged me and my heart began to beat hard. It was as if God was standing right in front of me saying, “make yourself available to everyone, just as My Son did.” Those words are heavy to take in, but isn’t a pastor/leader supposed to be a servant? A servant back in the Old Testament days, was someone who was below the worst of the worst, but yet, Jesus decided to take the form of a servant to show the equality of humankind. It doesn’t matter what kind of skin color you have, how many tattoos you have, how many piercings you have, or how many people you have drank and smoked with. All that should matter is your love for Jesus Christ. That’s the bottom line. This is THE picture of what servant leadership should look like:
“1 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” -John 13:1-17
This is the example: that we should do exactly what Jesus did for us. We should lay down our lives for others, as He did for us. When was the last time you told your secretary to hold the phone calls? Or if someone comes into the office to talk to you, you told the secretary to call you before they came to you, just to make sure you weren’t busy? I have only been in the ministry for two months, but the worst thing I have seen in my whole entire life, is a pastor saying they can’t meet someone right now, because they were too busy. This has nothing to do with the staff I work with now at Covenant Church. I guarantee you if you were to walk into my church and ask to speak to a pastor about something, they would meet you at the front door as soon as you walk in. I am bragging on my co-workers, because they walk what they talk…no matter what day of the week it is. A pastor/leader should never think of themselves as better than their students or people they are leading. In fact, didn’t Jesus do the exact opposite? Didn’t Jesus make Himself available to all? Yes, Jesus did shun people away, even His own disciples for rebuking Jesus Himself, but the matter of the fact is that a leader is a servant first. Next time a student texts you and asks you something, respond immediately. Do not wait five hours later, because that will show them that you don’t care. If there is one thing you get out of this, I want you to get this: No matter what, always make yourself available at all times, because you never know how you may touch someone’s life. Servant leadership. It’s not a thought process…it’s a lifestyle.