Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Servant Leadership - Sara and David

Sara and David are serving in Serbia. They were headed initially to Belgrade but got rerouted to another city - Novi Sad. Unlike what is was for Cat and Jordan, this was something they were praying for. Back at Copper, their team expressed they would prefer going to Novi Sad and prayed that something would happen. A few days later, my boss Ken received an email from the Serbian National Director who related that the Lord made it clear to him that the team should go to Novi Sad over Belgrade. (I like to think that perhaps the Lord made this clear while the team was praying in Copper.)

Novi Sad is a multicultural city of 1/2 million people and 30,000 students. There are about 26 different nationalities living in the city. Most students start class in a week. Sara has set up a 24-hour Prayer chain that you can join. (By the way this website is not only a cool way to pray for the team in Novi Sad but is one to get friends and supporters to pray for your campus too.)

I first got to know David in the summer of 2003 as we staffed the Myrtle Beach project together. I met Sara about 6 months later as she was chosen to be the Associate Project Director of the East Asia: Silk Road project as a student. When I think of both David and Sara I think of the 2nd WSN Characteristic of Servant Leadership. Not only do they exhibit servant-hearts but they exemplify our value of this qualification over even experience. We want to give young leaders a chance – whether a student like Sara was or a ‘professional’ staff like David.

Being a servant is the true mark of a leader as Jesus spoke in that familiar passage in Matthew 20. You know the story. James and John had enlisted their mommy to appeal to Jesus for the highest place in the kingdom. (If they are the Sons of Thunder, was her name Thunder or was that meaning of Zebedee?) This caused the other ten to be piqued. (As an aside, right before mommy’s appeal, Jesus spoke of his death. Every time the gospels record the disciples arguing over who was greater it happened right after Jesus mentioned He was going to die. Talk about missing the big picture!)

I can picture Jesus calling them to huddle-up. “Look guys, that’s the way the world acts. This is not the way of the kingdom. You wanna be great – be a servant. You wanna be first in line – be a slave. That’s what I have done. I came to serve, not to be served. I came to give my life away.”

Jesus came to serve. It’s easy for me to grasp Our Savior’s purpose as setting the captives free. Come on. We left all to preach this message around the globe. But He said He came to serve. His purpose for leaving the throne in heaven was not just to die but to serve. This is the way He lived and lead. This is the way we are to life and lead.

I have been trying to meditate lately on this. What would it look like if we looked at everyone around me (our team, our co-leader, lost students, the faceless crowds, et. al.) and asked, “What can I do to serve? Lord, how do you want me to serve You and Your people?” ?

There are a lot of passages I guess we could look at to describe servanthood. I tend to like Philippians 2 the best. It serves as a good check-list.

~ Do I in humility consider others better than myself? Or am I operating out of selfish-ambition or vain conceit?

~ Do I look out for others interests? Or am I looking out merely for my own interests?

~ Is my attitude characterized by Christ’s who emptied Himself to become a servant and the sacrifice for all? Or is my attitude one of pride and trying to hold to some high place and lofty I think I have earned?

Hopefully you score better than me.

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