Childlike leadership - Hope 103.2

Childlike leadership

By David ReayFriday 5 Feb 2016LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Matthew 18:1-4

1 About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?”

2 Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. 3 Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. 4 So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. (NLT)

Most men and women who aspire to leadership in the church are very aware of the phrase ‘servant leadership’. It means we are to lead by serving others rather than demand being served by others. Sadly, for all of us, it is easier to say than to do.

We can start off with a servant heart and then get used to all the trappings and the formal or institutional authority properly bestowed on us. We may find ourselves mouthing the words of servant leadership but acting much like any corporate CEO when it comes to the crunch.

Jesus gives us another idea of servant leadership by reminding his followers that true greatness lies in helpless dependence on God. True power comes from powerlessness. The point of the child illustration is about the relative powerlessness and utter dependence that are typical of little children.

Leaders in the church can never get too big for their boots and become pushy programme promoters or micromanaging meddlers. No matter how many people they supervise, no matter how big the budget or how grand the strategic plans, they are ultimately like little children.

Perhaps it might be a sobering and uncomfortable activity for church members to reflect on just how childlike (not childish!) their leaders are. And for good measure, for church leaders to figure out if ‘childlike’ is a word that springs to mind as they consider their own leadership.

David Reay

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