Being A Servant, a Leader in Christ- Paul Collier
How does God instruct his shepherds to lead His sheep? Does God assign leadership at all? What is the essential DNA of a leader in Christ? Using The Word as our guide, let us seek God's will.
First, let us sing a new song to The Lord to prepare ourselves to be leaders in Christ
Sing the song of wisdom
that the Lord's light might fill
this grey cave with God's great filigree
Sing the song of fear
that the Lord might reign
in the dark places and set their black to gold
Sing the song of service
that the Lord's jeweled purpose
might festoon this humble black
that this dark life might be set to God's column of flame
guiding His sheep as He commands
Sing the song of the shepherd, that his staff
might command the light of heaven to gather The Lord's sheep
from their lost, dark caves.
Sing in the name of Christ, the King.
Sing a daily new song in praise of God's ways.
Does God command us to have leaders? Yes, but God assigns two specific qualities that are essential in all leaders in Christ, that they possess wisdom, and that they possess humility.
In Numbers, God instructs us that we must have a shepherd
Numbers 27:16 Let Jehovah, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation,
17 who may go out before them, and who may come in before them, and who may lead them out, and who may bring them in; that the congregation of Jehovah be not as sheep which have no shepherd
Notice that leaders in Christ are shepherds, shepherds that serve God's sheep.
God makes it clear that the most important quality of a leader is wisdom when he acknowledges that Solomon will be the greatest of leaders, for God has given him the wisdom that no human being will ever exceed.
1 Kings 3:12 I have done as you said: I have given you a wise and far-seeing heart, so that there has never been your equal in the past, and never will there be any like you in the future.
13 And with this I have given you what you made no request for: wealth and honour, so that no king was ever your equal.
Solomon, the leader previously mentioned, received the gift of wisdom from The Lord because he sought it to serve The Lord's flock and he did not ask for anything else. If a leader is to attain the wisdom of The Lord, he or she must do so from a spirit of serving. If you listen to Solomon's prayer to The Lord in 1 Kings, this essential starting point, the desire to serve The Lord and his sheep, is echoed clearly.
1 Kings 3:7 And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in the place of David my father; and I am only a young boy, with no knowledge of how to go out or come in.
8 And your servant has round him the people of your selection, a people so great that they may not be numbered, and no account of them may be given.
9 Give your servant, then, a wise heart for judging your people, able to see what is good and what evil; for who is able to be the judge of this great people?
10 Now these words and Solomon's request were pleasing to the Lord.
11 And God said to him, Because your request is for this thing, and not for long life for yourself or for wealth or for the destruction of your haters, but for wisdom to be a judge of causes;
12 I have done as you said: I have given you a wise and far-seeing heart.....
As wisdom is the paradigm of leadership, how God instructs us to attain wisdom is the most important element of being a good leader in Christ. We have seen, first and foremost, that Solomon approached his search for wisdom from a humble spirit, to serve God's sheep.
Where does wisdom come from? Solomon attained his wisdom not from his own pursuit but from the blessings of The Lord. The only wisdom, the only understanding we possess comes from The Lord. In Proverbs, Solomon, the man who was given the greatest gift of wisdom that any other human will ever possess, tells us that:
Proverbs 1:7 ¶The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
It is extended through Trust in the Lord, in love of The Lord, and a rebuking of self-knowledge.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in Jehovah with all thy heart, And lean not upon thine own understanding:
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, And he will direct thy paths.
The wise must not only rebuke self-knowledge, but must also purposely separate themselves from the works of evil.
Proverbs 3:7 ¶Be not wise in thine own eyes; Fear Jehovah, and depart from evil:
Through Solomon, God instructs men seeking wisdom to "attain unto wise counsels'. Godly leaders surround themselves with wise counselors.
Proverbs 1:5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
Remember that Solomon's path began from a place of humility, a sense, a desire to serve The Lord and His sheep. This quality is so important that The Lord instructs us, in Matthew, not to be vested with titles which elevate us over others.
Matthew 23:7 They [the rabbis] like the greetings of respect which people give them in the marketplaces. They like people to call them, `Rabbi.´•
8 You should not be called `Rabbi,´ because there is only one teacher for you. You are all brothers.
9 On earth, you should not be called `Father,´ because you have only one Father -- the heavenly Father.
10 You should not be called, `Leader´ because the Messiah is your only Leader.
11 The most important one among you will be your servant.
12 Every person who acts as though he is important will be made ashamed, but every person who truly humbles himself will be made important."
Jesus reiterates this theme, that leaders are not to be elevated, but should be as the least amongst us.
Luke 22:25 But Jesus said to them, "The kings of the nations rule over their people. Men who have authority over other people are called `benefactors.´•
26 But you must not think that way. The greatest person among you should be like a younger person. Leaders should be like servants.
27 Who is more important? A man who is sitting at the table or the one who is serving him? You may think it is the one sitting at the table, but I am like a servant among you!
If we are to prepare leaders in Christ, these leaders must be imbued with this core DNA, that all men are fools save for the fear, the trust, and the love in the Lord, that no man can lead God's sheep unless he first be committed to complete service to others, that he be the least amongst the flock even as his wisdom, which is wholly of The Lord, guides the flock.
In a Lion Pride, the master of the Pride, the King of the Jungle, eats first, but in God's Kingdom, the master of the Pride eats last.
Let us summarize what our core DNA must be if we are to be leaders in Christ. Leaders, be they ministers or business leaders, MUST be surrounded by wise counselors, or fellow leaders in Christ. A Christian leader has no title designating him leader, but only titles which describe him as a servant to the flock. He leads through God's wisdom, only in service to The Lord's sheep.
Let us pray, that we may be leaders in Christ:
In humble service I come before you to serve your flock as you guide me.
I acknowledge your greatness. I fear your wrath if I were to lead your flock astray.
I trust in Your ways, in Your Word, above all other ways.
I sing my love for you in new songs daily.
I lift up Your name in daily praises.
I seek to be least amongst your flock so that I might be first in serving your flock, in serving Your will, Your ways.
I commit my life to your service, to your sheep, and seek no gain, no wealth, no blessings of health or comfort save that it might serve your will.
I call upon the Holy Spirit to come upon me and guide me in my pursuit of The Lord's Word, the Lord's wisdom.
I do this in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, our savior, our King, in Jesus name I, The Lord's servant, pray.