Servant Leadership

He (Jesus) said, “You’ve observed how godless rulers throw their weight around, how quickly a little power goes to their heads. It’s not going to be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not be served—and then to give away his life in exchange for the many who are held hostage.”                                                                                                                            Matthew 20:25-28 (The Message) 

I mentioned a few days ago that I am reading a book titled The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson. I just finished it, actually, and I enjoyed it immensely. The book is a look into the crisis year of May, 1940 to May, 1941 when England stood virtually alone against the evil plague of Hitler’s Nazi Germany.

The comparison and contrast of leadership between England and Germany is fascinating. Both Hitler and Churchill were strong and passionate leaders. Both had the ability to sway the hearts of the people that they led. Both had soaring oratorical gifts, in an era when speeches were the currency of leading political thought.

The contrast came in how each conceptualized his position. Hitler had become able to convince people that he was the savior of the German State, and that people must put complete trust in him.

Churchill led and served differently.

Once, one of Churchill’s government ministers told Churchill that the best thing he had done was to “give the people courage”. Churchill replied, “I never gave them courage, I was able to focus theirs”.

There is the crucial difference between the two leaders. Hitler was able to make people believe in him, Churchill was able to make people believe in themselves.

Prayer: Father, thank you for the message of sending your Son to show us servant leadership, Amen

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