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Where are the servant leaders? December 21, 2005

Posted by roopster in Bible, Christianity, church, faith, God, Jesus, Religion, spirituality, Theology.
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One of the great teachings of Jesus was his thoughts on leadership.

You know that in this world there are tyrants and officials lord it over the people beneath them. But among you it should be quite different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant. I came here not to be served but to serve others.

He not only spoke these words but demonstrated them. Many of today’s Christian leaders, by contrast, demonstrate the opposite spirit.

In 1997, the church I attended were having meetings with a well known Tulsa based minister. For the meetings, there was a special parking lot designated for VIPs. The entire front of the church was sectioned off for these special guests. There was special childcare for their children and a welcome room with food and drinks for them. There were those who stood in lines for hours to get into these meetings. However, even if they did, because of the reserved seating, I’m not sure the seating they received was quite worth the wait.

I remember watching how these special guests were treated and thought to myself, if Jesus was here, he’d be sitting in the back with the ones who stood in line for hours to get in versus sitting in the special seats with those we classed as “leaders.”

So there we were, catering to the every need of these “leaders.” Parking their cars, caring for their children, making sure they had lots to eat and drink, and giving them the best seats of the house. While the masses were standing in the cold for hours hoping to get a good seat and to experience something from God.

What was also ironic about this event, is that my pastor at the time was one of my heroes because he had classed himself as a true representative of the people. Yet here he was, now a part of the inner circle, and participating in the very things he spoke against for many years. Not much different than the pigs in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm.”

I would not class these “leaders” as “servants.” I’ve been in conferences with high level CEOs of multi-million dollar companies who did not receive this type of treatment. This is yet another great example of a contrast between what we call “Christianity” today and the teachings of Christ.

My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim that you have faith in Jesus if you favor some people more than others? For instance, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in shabby clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor”–well, doesn’t this discrimination show that you are guided by wrong motives?
– James

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Comments»

1. MMM - May 9, 2005

and people wonder why when I see the doors of a church why I run like hell in the other direction….MMM

2. Monk-in-Training - May 9, 2005

Roopster,

For the meetings, there was a special parking lot designated for VIPs. The entire front of the church was sectioned off for these special guests. There was special childcare for their children and a welcome room with food and drinks for them.

Living here in the shadow of the Shield that is Tulsa, I am very familiar with the phenomenon you portray. Sadly there have been times in my past when I would have stood to see some spiritual celebrity and some how increase the importance of my scraggly life just to be associated with the Great One. I know those people are desperately hoping to connect with something greater than themselves, unfortunately instead of an authentic Gospel lifestyle of service, acceptance, and true faith (See James for details), they are sucked up into the WOF monstroma of endless seminars/purchasing books & tapes, and various (just feel it, brother!) LOVE offerings.These leaders no nothing of historical Christian discipleship, their style is far more emblematic of a CEO, or some politico than anything resembling Christ. Can you simply imagine Jesus in one of those cheap suits with a trophy wife looking adoringly up at him (cue Mary Magdalene), while he bellows out ridiculously simplistic “seed” faith catch phrases, and gets a round of applause?!

The great temptation of any leader is power, and it’s attributes. It has been so since the beginning. There is an ancient book called the Didache. It is very old, perhaps as old as some of the books of the Christian testament. In it the Church is warned:11:12 But whoever shall say in the spirit, Give me money, or things of that kind, listen not to him; but if he tell you concerning others that are in need that ye should give unto themLord have mercy on me, and forgive me of my own sin. You Who are the Father of all, and Whose Son commanded us to love all people, even false prophets: Lead them and us from prejudice to truth; deliver them and us from anger, seperation, and any hatred; and in Your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before You; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

3. totaltransformation - April 9, 2007

“if Jesus was here, he’d be sitting in the back with the ones who stood in line for hours to get in versus sitting in the special seats with those we classed as “leaders.”

Excellent point.

Things are even worse though, when you look at the folks spreading the prosperity gospel- linking salvation with financial wealth. Disgusting.


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