Servant Leadership

When one thinks of servant leadership we immediately think of the Gospel of Mark and how he depicts Jesus as our role model for a servant leader.  For the DTS internship purposes, we are to model servant leadership, equipping others in a God-given direction through our Christ-like behavior, leadership and love.

For my competence in servant leadership, I am submitting a written artifact which is again in the form of a Reflection in which the law professors can use as a tool in order to enhance their students inspiration to a changed or improved spiritual life, by using their own personal experience that the students can relate to.

Through the years of serving in the church or para-church organizations, I have found a large tendency to “forget” what the opening devotional was about as the 1 hour meeting concluded.  So the question I personally wanted to address was how to make the devotionals or reflections more memorable and therefore more apt to be put in use.  Our team decided it would be by use of personal examples made by the students professors.  So that is how we have structured the internship.  We call it a “reflection” because it is a tool for the professor to reflect upon in order to remember situations in which he or she can use while making the point of the reflection itself.  The reflection is not to be read by the student, only the professor, during their quiet time (which explains why they are a bit longer and more exegetical than “devotionals”).  This effort reflects how the writer and the professor are servant leaders to the law students in order to help them process topical issues they may face during law school.

Artifact 1:  Spiritual Rest (even with a busy schedule)

Spiritual Rest

 

Matthew 11:28-29 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

 

Our world today is abuzz, a whirling, never-ending and busy, loud world. Our North American highways are filled with parents driving their kids to schools, employees driving for work, students driving to college classes, church ministries, errands and the list can be endless. Often times, at the end of our day we arrive home and instead of arriving to a calm sanctuary environment where we can decompress from the day, we arrive to more stress where food must be prepared or repairs or unfinished work from various projects including work and school. For most of us, home is no longer a place of refuge, no longer a place to kick back and rest, with a decent night’s sleep; either because we have packed too much in our day and must catch up or we simply don’t want to “feel”.

 

When we keep ourselves constantly busy, we don’t “feel” our bodies that may be crying out for rest. We seem to fill every moment with activity and people but rarely alone in silence; yet, it is this silence and aloneness that prepares our hearts and minds for hearing God’s voice and it is His voice through the Holy Spirit living in us that provokes us to “feel” godly sorrow for our sins and “feel” the humility of grace and forgiveness and compassion for those around us. It is in this kind of silence where we grow more Christ-like and mature as better people and Christians. This is the reason why so many Christian leaders are emphasizing “quiet times” or “alone times with God” because our world is so busy that we must make an intentional appointed time to escape into solitude. But often times when we are running on adrenalin it is difficult to rest and most likely if we did stop to rest, our bodies would be still but our minds would continuously race about what needs to be done which may leave us feeling guilty or hopeless; and the cycle continues.

 

Do you feel the stress of doing too many things in one day? Are you a perfectionist where everything has to be done perfectly and in order to get one thing done other things have to delayed which throws everything off its timetable creating a crisis? Do you ever feel overwhelmed?

 

When Jesus says “Come to me.” He is using the Greek verb “deute” which is a greeting that means “Come now, come quickly![1] I’m inviting you to come!” and can be translated into the joyful welcoming that Christ wants for us; to come and rest with Him now! Then Jesus says “all who are weary and heavy-laden” which means exhausted and burned out.[2] So, Jesus isn’t just calling those who are weary and tired but also those who are carrying a heavy load on their back such as a career, family, medical issues, worries and concerns for loved ones and such.

 

To those who accept His invitation He promises He will give them rest. The Greek term for “rest” means to be refreshed reinvigorated and revitalized. This rest that Jesus gives comes to us when we allow ourselves to go to Him through God’s Word, prayer, or worship, but it is when we are alone with Him that we will find this kind of peace and rest in Christ. He calls out to us, are we listening?

 

But as with so many things in life, it is so very hard to change our habits and ways of doing our business. Change is hard. Going from Mach 3 during the days and nights to a normal level of speed will take a true decision and desire. Making the decision to change our habits is the first step. Acknowledging that we are running our lives without God and deciding to change in order to include Him in our lives will be the best thing we can do for ourselves but “how”? As much as we would love to see Barbara Eden right about now it probably won’t happen (for those of you younger than 45, she played the “Barbie-doll-genie- in -a -bottle” role in a weekly TV show called “I Dream of Genie” granting wishes with the wiggle of her nose).

 

So how do we pull ourselves away from operating in second gear at 20,000 RPMs and get into a healthy 5th gear stride? Below is a possible method.

 

Stop-Ask-Acknowledge- Have Faith and Do:

 

Stop and Ask: I will stand on my guard post and station myself on the rampart; and I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me, and how I may reply when I am reproved.” (Habakkuk 2:1)

Stop, sit and prayerfully reflect on God and ask ourselves:

  1. In what ways would God want to see me change?
  2. How does God want me to respond?
  3. What have been my motives to tackle so much?

 

Acknowledge: In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat-for he granst sleep to those he loves” Psalm 127:2 “Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.” (Isaiah 40:3)

  1. Acknowledge that we might be trying to meet our own needs instead of waiting on the Lord.
  2. Acknowledge that we may be acting like we must help God accomplish His purposes.
  3. Acknowledge that we may be focusing on the approval of man rather than God.
  4. Acknowledge that obedience brings rest and blessings and peace ( “…Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you will find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16).

 

Have Faith: “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ (Romans 10:17)

  1. “The righteous shall live by faith.” (Habakkuk 2:4, Hebrews 10:38, Romans 1:17 and Galatians 3:11)
  2. “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6).
  3. “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
  4. “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name,that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:15-19)

 

Do: Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2).

  1. Try writing a list of important tasks for different areas of life such as God (daily quiet time)/family/work/household/ministry/hobbies and then prioritizing tasks under each one. After each task is prioritized place it on a day of the week it can be done without trying to do everything on a Monday for example (Ecclesiastes 4:6).[3] With this tactic, we will find it much easier to spend time with God because it has a place and time in our schedule.
  2. Schedule in a Sabbath. If our good LORD God Almighty Yahweh who created all seen and unseen took a day of rest and if we are created in the image of our great God, then who are we to be so bold to think we do not need a Sabbath rest also? It is good to rest and let the day cover us in its latent strength.
  3. Prayerfully consider changing “one” daily eating habit for the better and each time this change is acted out, praise God in a short prayer of thanksgiving for His grace to help make it a permanent change.
  4. Make another list of what you are choosing to do in order to serve Christ and not man such as:
    1. I release my temptation to worry and choose to refocus my thoughts to being thankful for all things in me and around me
    2. I release my temptation to rely on my own understanding and choose to call on Christ for wisdom and peace.
    3. I release my temptation to interrupt others and instead choose to listen more in order to learn how to be more compassionate and loving towards others.
    4. I release my _______ in order to______

 

If we can “Stop-Ask-Acknowledge- Have Faith and Do” then we are taking the first steps towards having a Spiritual Rest in Christ no matter what problems the world rains down on us because only Christ can bring us the peace our souls thirst after. We should remember that God created us with a God-hole in our hearts that can only be filled with our relationship in Him. It is when we try to fill that hole with the things of the world such as other people, careers, tasks, addictions and so many other things that we are brought down into feeling the emptiness and un-fulfillments of a world without Christ.

“O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water.” [4]

[1] δεῦτε deûte, dyoo’-teh; from G1204 and an imperative form of εἶμι eîmi (to go); come hither!

[2] Weary: κοπιάω kopiáō, kop-ee-ah’-o; from a derivative of G2873; to feel fatigue; by implication, to work hard:—(bestow) labour, toil, be wearied. Heavy-laden: φορτίζω phortízō, for-tid’-zo; from G5414; to load up (properly, as a vessel or animal), i.e. (figuratively) to overburden with ceremony (or spiritual anxiety), See HEAP. In the Sept., Pro 25:22.:—lade, by heavy laden.

[3] “Better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind”.

[4] The Thirsting Soul Satisfied in God. ] [ A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah. ] Psalm 63:1 NASB.
Learning Reflection

As I developed and demonstrated servant leadership, I have learned that it is the idea of helping others that will often pull me out of bed in the morning.  When I have plans just for myself, I often find it hard to get out of bed; however, when I know I am doing God’s work to benefit others, I practically jump on my feet running.  This is a 180 degree turn-around for me because I can remember not too long ago that it was the idea of working overtime and earning more money that pulled me out of that bed; now, however, it is the Lord and His people.  I think that just the idea that God is counting on “me” to do something for Him is exciting and an honor.

Lifelong Development Statement
As a result of the experiences documented by these artifacts, I will continue to
develop in servant leadership by always having a component in my life that helps others; especially if it is something I can teach about the Bible and God’s Will.  I’ve discovered that even as I sit and read His word for a mere 10 minutes, His Spirit will give me hundreds of ideas for a following Reflection idea.  I have learned that if I merely write it down and save it for later, the blasting impulse to create that topic is fizzled; so I have learned to stop what I am doing at that moment and begin to write on His idea.  Although I have yet to perfect that obedience, I have started the process and I pray that the more often I do drop everything to obey His promptings, the easier it will become.

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