Thursday, April 17, 2008

Power to Serve

The Christian leadership literature frequently mentions the need to serve, and advances various examples of those who did: Jesus, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, and so on. “If you choose to lead, you must serve” (Hunter J C 2004:72). Yet does the literature mean quite what one would imagine it does with “service”? James Hunter quotes George Bush Sr.: “There is but one just use of power, and it is to serve people” (Hunter J C 2004:63). Similarly, Walter Wright considers: “Leadership is the use of power to serve the people” (Wright W 2000:180). Yet is not true service the relinquishment of power, not the use of it? Christ “made Himself nothing” (Philippians 2:7). QUESTION: What constitutes “power”? The power to earn? The power to leave? The power to lead? The power to fund? The power to adjust? The power to protect? The power to advance? Which kinds of power should one be ready to relinquish? The photo shows Hunter’s The World’s Most Powerful Leadership Principle.

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