Tuesday, February 19, 2008

You Know You're a Servant When...

Here's a great story in Tuesday morning's Fresno Bee about a seven-year-old boy who attends Trae's school and his extraordinary, generous heart. It touched me to read it over breakfast Tuesday morning and I hope it encourages you as well.


From Gene Wilkes in his excellent book, Jesus on Leadership: Discovering the Secrets of Servant Leadership from the Life of Christ.

"Jesus modeled greatness through service to others when he did not seek a public office, earn a degree, lead an army, or discover some scientific truth. Jesus's entire ministry was about service to his Father in heaven, service to his mission, service to his (disciples), and, ultimately, service to those he came to save. Jesus was a great man because he was a servant. We acknowledge him as great because he lived beyond the noise of life and purposefully lived to bring people closer to their Creator. As Lord of all, he might have lived above us and demanded blind allegiance. But he served us, teaching us the truth and how to live by it. He served us in our misunderstanding, our selfishness, and our weakness. He saw what we needed and helped us. He knew what we needed to be and took us there -- with great love and respect for us.

We have lost this fundamental model of greatness in our personality-centered culture. Greatness seems to belong to the builders and those of influence. Greatness is equated with name recognition and social status. Churches and non-profit organizations have become too much like the world in this respect. We hand out certificates of greatness to those who grow the biggest organizations or gather the most people on a weekend. We honor those who sit in places of power. We have forgotten that greatness among God's people begins with service, and service implies labor without accolades"