FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON SERVANT LEADERSHIP
THREATS TO THE WORK
September 28, 2015
Today’s gospel: Luke 9:46-50
The call to the New Evangelization bids us to greater heights of servant leadership. In serving our Church with self-emptying and not being self-referential, we need to avoid two things: rivalry and intolerance of outsiders. One looks at co-leaders inside, the other looks at Church co-workers outside.
The internal threat to servant leadership is striving for power, position and acclaim. This leads to rivalry, which leads to strife and disunity. “An argument arose among the disciples about which of them was the greatest.” (v.46). The antidote is to become like a little child (v.47), one who has no ambitions, pretensions or aspirations to greatness. He is one who is totally dependent on the Father and otherwise is helpless. He is one who might have tiffs with other children but would easily forget those and would soon be playing together again. He holds no grudges and nurses no negative thoughts. Such a one is one whom the Father can truly use for His purposes. And the Father’s purposes are grand, as He intends to achieve great things through His human instruments. “For the one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest.” (v.48b).
The external threat to servant leadership is intolerance or non-acceptance or non-cooperation with those who are not part of our community or fellowship. “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow in our company.” (v.49). It is thinking that only we are called, that only we have the mandate, that we have the monopoly of Christ and his work. It is looking at other Church groups as competitors rather than collaborators. It is even putting down others as we advance our own agenda. Jesus tells us the correct posture. “Do not prevent him, for whoever is not against you is for you.” (v.50). We are all co-workers of Christ. We all should have the same goals, which are Christ’s goals. We build only one Kingdom, certainly not our own but that of God. We only have one enemy, and that is the evil one.
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