Friday, May 22, 2015

We Need Leaders? Maybe Not

You never know what serving one another may entail! ;)

"We need leaders!" 

Have you heard it too? 

I'm perplexed by that statement when it's from within the Christian community. Surely, it's said with good intentions, but young people often hear the challenge and misunderstand the meaning. 

If, when we say we need leaders we actually mean we need strong young people who will stand up for truth and never bend to inappropriate peer pressure, then maybe we should say exactly that.

When we tell young people we need leaders, we potentially set them up to pursue their natural desire for finding significance through power and limelight. 

What if we said, "We need servants!"? 

What if we train our children to be servants--starting with service to each other at home? And then, lift up examples of those who serve in the quiet corners of our world, those who demonstrate the beautiful, yet difficult (in that it goes against our natural urges) and humble position of servants?

What if we reflect the beautiful, servant spirit of Jesus, if we model what it means to be a servant, if we delight in being a servant? 

Wouldn't we more likely produce a people who effectively spread the Gospel and raise new generations to follow Christ?

Is this not our aim?

I believe we want our children to be strong, to be willing and able to resist anything that would deter them from following Jesus, to strive to do their best in all things, and then to let God decide how to use them. If He wants them to be the best janitors they can possibly be, what a needed and beautiful place of service! If He wants them across the ocean or in a local community directing a ministry for orphans or lonely elders, it is up to Him. If he wants them married and faithfully raising another generation, Godspeed!

He alone knows where our particular abilities and skills will be used most effectively. He alone knows where our deepest fulfillment lies. He alone is the perfect example of what we should imitate, and what we should be telling the next generation we need.

The amazing reality is that when we do our best as unto Him, He makes a fulfilling, meaningful place for each of us, and people will be knocking at our door for help. We will end up as "leaders" to those who have deep needs and have found help from God through us. But it won't be because our goal was to be a leader.

Our goal, as a follower of Jesus, is to be a servant, not a leader.