Leaders Don’t Always Look Like Leaders
There are days where it looks like I work for my children.
I can go from being a chauffeur to a personal assistant. I may be a chef or a repair man, a counselor or medic. The jobs are seemingly endless, but those kids can be demanding and plenty bossy. Still, at the end of the day, there is no doubt to them or me who is in charge: their mother.
Seriously, as parents we can look subservient to our little munchkins. We love them so much we want to take care of them the best we can. Through tiredness, lack of motivation, or anything else–we press through and it may appear they are in charge. Sometimes it even feels like they’re charge, but the responsibility and privileges of being a leader ultimately fall to us.
So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. –Ephesians 5:17-21
In the midst of this exhortation from Paul, I believe we find a key to being effective Kingdom leaders:
Submit yourself to one another in reverence to Christ.
We encourage each other musically as we are filled with the Spirit (another subject all together) and give thanks in all things then you have to be confident enough in who you are to not look like a leader many times.
It’s not taking the position of honor, but the one of service. You’re not the always the “big man” (or woman) on campus, but it’s okay. In a family, we submit to one another. In the family of God, we do the same.
I think about some places I’ve been where I would be the “experienced minister.” I submit myself to those there because I want them to see Christ. I have also been in the reverse position where much more seasoned leaders would submit to me. It flies in the face of how so many in the world view leaders and leadership and what it’s all supposed to look like, but we are part of a different Kingdom.
You can have the position without lording it over others. You can have the title without exerting misguided attempts at ensuring proper respect.
Calling someone a ‘servant leader’ in God’s Kingdom should be a profound redundancy. When you are submitted to others in the love of Christ in awe of our Lord, you give of yourself differently and keeping up appearances loses any of its influence.
I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. –1 Corinthians 4:14-15
We don’t need more teachers. We need more fathers.
What are your thoughts on this? How have you seen this at work in the Church (or not working)?