The Servant Leader.

I've been thinking about the role of leadership , in the light of Nehemiah and especially, when an organisation, like St Andrew's is in the middle of restructuring. One of the differences between the church leader today and Nehemiah's time is that we have the encouragement of the scriptures and perhaps a greater awareness of what it means to be " The One and the Many in Christ" In other words the teaching found in 1 Corinthians 12 under pins and helps to illuminate the story of partnership and purpose that is told in the story of Nehemiah's reconstruction. So our calling as the church is literally to be the one and the many in Christ. This is an important aspect of our identity, because as a church community we take on many roles. I think this is what Paul means when he says," I have become all things to all men that I might win some" It doesn't mean that we stand for nothing and fall for anything. On the contrary, it means that we take on the role of our Lord and learn to " weep with those who are weeping and laugh with those who are laughing" Its about the church understanding its mission in the world. This means that we must always be approachable even to those who have different "plausibility structures" to ours. The fascinating thing is that a whole philosophy of servanthood has grown up even in the business world. Have a look at this web page also All we do must be motivated by a desire to bring glory to God through our service to others. This for me emphasises more and more the role of the church as servant and discipleship maker, such was the life that Jesus chose to live. We as a church cannot become greater than our master. However we have a dilemma. In our structures we have lost the role of credible servant and succumbed to the role of professional managerial speak. We manage the church but are we serving each other and the world ? Tonight we had another meeting of our structural meeting. As we talked about being good managers of our structure we were also reminded that we were a community centred around love and grace. Meeting targets might be important but missing the main target of servanthood would render us as the scripture says, "no more than noisy bells and clanging cymbols" We must be careful that we don't forget what it means to love the world and love our neighbour, as we seek to manage the church. Next post I'll have a a think about the changes that we might do well to consider at a regional level in church administration and structure.
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