Reflections by Dr. Teston
A Fellowship Christian School Blog
Fall break is upon us! Whatever your plans are for this long weekend, I sincerely thank you for taking a few minutes to reflect with me today. As we continue in our Rooted series, this week’s topic focuses on a character trait that humbly values the interest of others above self and seeks to collaborate and inspire.
Being a Servant Leader sounds like an oxymoron. How can you serve and lead at the same time? Leaders are supposed to be served, not serve others, right? And if you want to get ahead, you certainly should not serve those who cannot help you advance or prosper. Being a Servant Leader sounds counterintuitive and countercultural in a society that praises independence and individualism. Remember, that as followers of Jesus, we are not to be conformed to this world (Romans 12:1-2).
Jesus epitomizes what it means to be a Servant Leader:
And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it. (Mark 10:13-15)
In these verses, we read that parents were bringing their children to Jesus to receive a blessing or healing, but the disciples attempted to stop them. Why would they prevent such a thing from occurring? Perhaps, the disciples viewed children as insignificant. Maybe they thought Jesus should attend to more important people or matters. Regardless of their rationale, we are told that Jesus responded with indignation because the children were being hindered. As He gathered the little ones to Himself, Jesus spoke to the crowd about the faith of a child. In this small, yet significant moment, He demonstrated what a servant leader does and says.
Throughout His earthly life, Jesus showed us that being a servant and a leader are not in contrast. Honestly, it is the only way to lead if we are following Jesus. Great leaders set an example for others to follow. Think of some of the most outstanding leaders you have ever followed. Did they demand your service and respect? Did they remind you that they were the leader? Or did they set an example you felt compelled to follow because they treated you with dignity and respect, always prioritizing your best interest?
Jesus is the model to imitate, and His earthly life was spent serving those who could never repay Him. He served the least of these and, of course, was the greatest leader ever to live.
Our desire for your children is that they would grow to esteem others higher than themselves (Romans 12:10) so that they may gain influence over those they serve, to be true servant leaders – like Jesus. Each day, may we be rooted in humility and love as we remember that we have life because the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others.
Humbled to serve,
Dr. Kathryn M. Teston
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Dr. Kathryn M. Teston