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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.

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