FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON SERVANT LEADERSHIP
DOWNWARD AND UPWARD
February 19, 2017
Today’s reading: 1 Corinthians 3:16-23
Servant leadership involves a position on a downward and upward scale. Leaders are above subordinates, and subordinates or servants are under leaders. Downward involves authority, and upward involves service. Servant leaders are subject to both.
Servant leadership is for those who are called and appointed by God to serve by leading, or to lead as a servant. It can only work by God’s grace and an understanding of God’s intent. It is God who determines the scale. And the whole intent is to be of service to God’s people. Paul tells the Corinthians: “for everything belongs to you” (v.21b).
Speaking of God’s appointed ministers, “Paul or Apollos or Cephas” (v.22a), Paul cites a hierarchy or ranking: “all belong to you, and you to Christ, and Christ to God.” (v.22c-23). From top to bottom is ownership (who is the master): God Christ people leaders. From bottom to top is the obligation to serve: leaders people Christ God.
Servant leaders, know your place (it is the lowest place and you are the servant of all), and you will do well.
* * *