Thursday, March 29, 2012

Becoming a Servant Leader, Part 1

The success of your Vacation Bible School ministry is, more than anything else, dependent upon you — the VBS leader or helper.As you serve the Lord in VBS, you will make the difference in lives of young people you touch. For most people, leadership does not come naturally; it must be learned, developed, and nurtured. The secular world is full of books, CDs, and DVDs to help people become successful — at least according to the standards of the world. However, as Christians, we are called to be leaders of a different kind; we are called to be servant leaders.

Get acquainted with the servant leader


The Bible gives many guidelines for effective leadership; as Christian leaders we should put these into practice in our lives and in our ministries to young students.

Jesus, the Greatest Leader of all, gives us the first guideline to follow. He said, "Whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister [servant]: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." (Mark 10:43-45) As Christian leaders, we are called upon to serve others as Jesus did — by ministering to them and by meeting their needs. To help us do this, we can look at the characteristics of Jesus' leadership while He was on earth.

In Isaiah 42, in referring to the coming Messiah, the prophet says, "Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my Spirit upon him." (Isaiah 42:1) Just as Jesus was God's chosen servant and God placed His Spirit on Him, if God has called you to be a VBS leader to helper, you are God's chosen servant and He has promised to place His Spirit on you as you serve Him.

Isaiah goes on to say that God's chosen servant "will not shout or cry out or raise his voice... A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out." (Isaiah 42:2-3 NIV) Jesus was a gentle, kind, and loving leader: One who cared for the weak and struggling people around Him, One who treated everyone fairly and with equity. This should be the standard that you try to follow as you lead your Vacation Bible School (or any) ministry. Are you fair? Do you care about each of your students equally — even the underachievers, the rebels, the quiet ones; do you treat each one with love and compassion?

According to the world's guidelines, leadership depends on cleverness, wit, humor, and talent. But Jesus' leadership was different (and ours should be, too). Jesus was available and He was vulnerable. He cared for each individual person and He showed it in the supreme way.

(We'll continue with Part 2 on Becoming a servant Leader next week.)

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